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Post Reply Why are Harem style Anime normally frowned upon or looked at in bad taste?
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M / The Great White N...
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Posted 6/18/16
Hello Everyone!

I wanna start off by saying that I personally love Harem series. Least the ones I do actually follow. Both types as well, the female Harems and the Male Harems, both are awesome over all!

But I have noticed within a lot of anime communities Harems are looked down upon and considered horrible series by most. So I've been trying to find out an answer to this hate. The best I can personally figure is either the people who don't like Harems are not the target audience for them, or there are more 'bad' harems out there then good ones.


I mean, I can see the repeat humor in a lot getting old for some people but I personally love repeat humor. I also love a lot of sexual jokes and such as well and most of the characters end up growing on me. Course I guess I still haven't seen an overly abundant amount of Harem anime either. When I actually think about it I've only seen maybe 6 series for it and liked 5 of them. (The one I didn't like was High School DxD. I enjoyed it years ago but tried rewatching it more recently and the MC... I could not get past the MC in the first few episodes). But the Harems I have liked are; Fruits Basket, Kamisama Kiss, Zero no Tsukaima, Dragonar Accadmy, Monster Musume.
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27 / F / Outer Orbit
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Posted 6/18/16
I think it's because, generally, harem animes tend to not have very deep characters and there often is a problem with the MC, in the form of the character being completely blank slate and people just madly falling in love with them for no real reason at all, apart from "The plot requires this".
xxJing 
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31 / M / Duckburg
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16
Step One : Have dense main character.

Step Two : Have 1 dimensional girls throw themselves at him for no reason.

Step Three : ???

Step Four : Profit.

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37 / M / Virginia USA
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/19/16
There are good harems, and there are bad harems.

The problem is when the harems themselves are good, but the show itself is bad.

Personally I love harem shows, but I hate when there is no actual character development or romantic development during the series. There should be some, even if it is excruciatingly slow.
Posted 6/18/16
It's mostly that people don't bother to try and understand the genre (yes, it is a genre), looking down at it as a "lower form of entertainment". As a genre it is similarly repetitive as others, but the focus is put on other aspects, which seems to bother a lot of viewers. For example, the plot or the main character, integral to other genres, are more of a means to an end for harems. On the other hand things like the character designs or the personalities of the harem members are more important to the success of the show. The plot is just there to give you a sense of suspense and involvement (seeing how you would have no reason to care if there were no stakes) and the main characters job in most harems is to be easy to insert yourself into as the viewer. Which is why experimenting with the main character is always somewhat of a gamble. Going too far into any direction can easily alienate viewers. Just look at what happened with you an Issei.

I've written about this topic in the past, including a pretty in-depth review on last season's Unlimited Bahamut, which you can read on MAL, if you're interested in reading more about my views. But the bottom line is that you shouldn't let today's crowd of selfappointed critics, who seem to think that something has to be "intelligent" (whatever that even means) or original to be worth your while, keep you from enjoying a genre you like.
Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16
Because I want a quality story and quality characters. They almost always have no substance to them. Also I hate ecchi BS, which is 50% of every harem.
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M / The Great White N...
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Posted 6/18/16

Elvikun wrote:

I think it's because, generally, harem animes tend to not have very deep characters and there often is a problem with the MC, in the form of the character being completely blank slate and people just madly falling in love with them for no real reason at all, apart from "The plot requires this".


That could make sense for a lot of them actually. There have been a number of them I could not get into because of how the MC was. But then you have others where the MC and the girls were amazing. So I'm guessing it is coming down to there are more "Bad" harem series then there are "Good" Harem series.


Like, when I stop and think about the ones I enjoyed vs the ones I didn't enjoy it mainly came down to either one of two things. How much I liked the MC, and how the sexuality was handled. If the MC was an extremely unlikeable pervert, as was the case with the MC of High School DxD then I can not get into it because he will annoy me. Also when the sexuality is so over the top that it makes you question and think "Someone had to animate this." then that is also something which might make me turn the series off. One example of over the top sexuality actually comes from an Echi series I never got too far in, I can't remember the name of it but one of the female characters her boobs jiggled with every step she took to the point they were bouncing from her belly button up to her mouth with each step.



And then we get the Harems I like, where each of the girls can be explained for the differant layers for why the personality is that way and with MCs who I actually relate to or want to be like. It may sound dumb but I really like the kind personality type in a character. Someone who tries to help out others just because they want to help out or they feel it is the right thing to do. Kinda like the MC of Monster Musume "Darling-kun" he takes a situation which was forced upon him and tries to make the best out it, all the while putting his own thoughts on the matter aside to just do what has to be done of caring for and teaching these girls that are now living with him. Doing his best to make sure they are happy, healthy and comfortable.
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Posted 6/18/16

xxJing wrote:

Step One : Have dense main character.

Step Two : Have 1 dimensional girls throw themselves at him for no reason.

Step Three : ???

Step Four : Profit.



this is the most truth i've ever heard lol. tho step 3 would be to make it funny....
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47 / M / Пенсильвания, Рес...
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/19/16
My guess is that it's much like the Three Stooges, a form of slapstick silliness that is usually enjoyed more by males than females. Then add in the mental state that rampages now that everyone has to dislike and like only the exact same things, you get people bad mouthing a subgenre because others are doing it and need to fit in. Plus there's this bizarre dislike of anything "old," and since Tenchi Muyo! was one of the big 90's anime imports and one of the best harems ever made*, that automatically in some minds means harem = old which then equals "bad." I don't get it, but then again I'm old and therefore bad.



*Personal Opinion of Grumpy Old Man, take it as you wish...it's also one of the best animations made in my opinion, I'm talking OVA and Universe here.
xxJing 
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16

Big_Sasquatch wrote:


xxJing wrote:

Step One : Have dense main character.

Step Two : Have 1 dimensional girls throw themselves at him for no reason.

Step Three : ???

Step Four : Profit.



this is the most truth i've ever heard lol. tho step 3 would be to make it funny....


It's a reference to South Park.

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21 / M / Australia
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Posted 6/18/16

xxJing wrote:


Big_Sasquatch wrote:


xxJing wrote:

Step One : Have dense main character.

Step Two : Have 1 dimensional girls throw themselves at him for no reason.

Step Three : ???

Step Four : Profit.



this is the most truth i've ever heard lol. tho step 3 would be to make it funny....


It's a reference to South Park.



proves i havent seen my share of south park then haha
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Posted 6/18/16
Honestly I don't dislike harems, I've seen plenty that I really liked. I've also seen plenty that I seriously couldn't stand and even a few where I just felt bad for the poor animation staff that had to make this.

Harem anime is a genre. You don't have to like a genre if it's not your thing (like how I was never one for horror) but that doesn't mean the genre itself is bad. Nor does having plenty of uninspiring entries make a genre bad either; after all the same can be said of any genre all things considered.

Harem anime in particular just seems to sort of be the whipping boy in the anime community. There are worse things out there, but it's an easy target and so gets a lot of shit.

Although I always find it funny that whenever someone says that 'all harem anime is pandering filth' that they never expect me to respond with 'does that mean you hate Clannad then?'
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M / The Great White N...
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Posted 6/18/16


I like this response over all. And yeah, you are right. I shouldn't let it bother me that others don't quite enjoy the genre. It is rather interesting though when you break it all down and find out the reasons for what makes one series successfully vs a series failing. And for Harems it is normally a lot more then just "Haha, Anime boobs!" then people seem to think that is all Harem (And to a greater extent Echi) fans are watching the series for.

Part of why I normally watch Harems is due to the romantic aspects and the comedy aspects. In a way they are kinda like the old Romantic Comedy Sitcoms that used to be on TV years ago. As much as people gave even those series hell, I enjoyed them. And with Anime, most Harem style shows are about as close as I have found to pure romantic comedy with out too much other elements to the series. (Though in some cases the other elements to a romance can make it more interesting)
xxJing 
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31 / M / Duckburg
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Posted 6/18/16
There are a lot of harems I do like that other people hate though :

Infinite Stratos : This series embraces the cliches it is built upon and focuses on developing the girls rather than trying to have a meaningful plot or a main character with a huge dick. The main character's best skill is that he is a good cook, all the girls are significantly better fighters than him. Whenever he is with a girl, the situation tends to be tailored to the girl's personality and not to his accomplishments or abilities. A true blank slate.

Trinity Seven : A true harem, one of the very few. The entire harem and the main character are a team. There is great synergy between them, no jealousy, no main girl. Develops relationships among the girls as much as it does between girls and MC.

Sky Wizards : The story focuses on the fighting aspect with the main character training the girls more so than taking the spotlight himself. There is only really one girl who shows true romantic feelings toward the main character. A lot of fun.

I suppose really what makes or breaks a harem for me is on how obnoxious the story is. Sometimes it really tries to push the wish fulfillment aspect about the main character being the only worthwhile male in the world and a total badass (cough SAO cough). Those are the ones that I can't stand. However, when it puts more of a focus on the girls and their dilemmas, and the main character helps the girls help themselves more than just outright saves them, then I enjoy it a lot.
xxJing 
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31 / M / Duckburg
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Posted 6/18/16

Big_Sasquatch wrote:


proves i havent seen my share of south park then haha


It's an old episode.

Season 2 Episode 17 from 1998. You would have been 2 when it aired.
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