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Post Reply Why are Harem style Anime normally frowned upon or looked at in bad taste?
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27 / F / England
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Posted 6/18/16
It absolutely depends on whether or not there is any character development/whether or not it is fairly original.

I liked Ouran Host Club, and I'll admit I quite enjoyed Strike the Blood in spite of myself.

Diabolik lovers is a great example of all the things wrong with the Harem Genre, yet I watched the entire thing through tears of despair and laughter.
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Posted 6/18/16
It depends, but my personal reason for disliking harem anime is the piling on of characters that don't have enough depth.

I think a good example of this is Nisekoi. Now, while the introduction of the female characters were decent and sometimes a good bait-n'-switch for the time, but later on it feels like they don't have any more purpose. It's obvious which two girls are going to be the main romantic focus, so the extra girls don't do much other than stand there and oogle over Ichijou. But on the bright side, the manga is winding down to its finale, which scratched off all the girls on the list that obviously weren't going to hook up with him, and it was dealt in a proper way and not just a "oh so this character is gone now." It also feels like the manga isn't going to do the cheap shot "I choose both" answer that To Love Ru did, so it actually gained back its romantic drama.

But there were a good few chapters that felt like they went absolutely no where, and many harem anime follow the same path. Once the character falls for the MC, they no longer have a purpose because the end of it feels less like actual romantic drama and more like a game of roulette.
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Posted 6/18/16
Perhaps some because of a lack of story? But those are often based off of dating sims so they already don't have much story. I enjoy harems.
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Posted 6/18/16
I think most harem anime also tend to fall under the ecchi category, and naturally there are plenty of fans that stay away from that. Also, harem anime can be frustrating to people who prefer direct romantic interests in their anime rather than several love interests that never bear fruit.

To each their own I say. I like harem anime as well, but everyone has their own tastes.
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16
It's just one of those things that people hate just to hate on it. Doesn't help that a lot of them don't even know what a harem show is in the first place, so you have them saying things like Sword Art Online is a harem for some reason...You should ignore such people since they have no right to be criticizing harems if they don't even understand what the genre is. Might as well be calling Clannad a harem.

And yeah there isn't that many of them. Not to extent most people like to believe anyway. Though they are right that most harems don't give the characters much development. But then a lot of people praise stuff like HunterxHunter even though it's the same way in that regard. So it still doesn't really make much sense when they criticize harems for that. Another thing is that they just tend to hate Fanservice because they think it means bad writing for whatever reason.


I tend to just watch them for fun mainly. But yes there are a fair share of both good and bad harems (as there is with anything).
Unlimited Fafnir, Akikan, Is this a Zombie, and World Break all fit the definition of a bad harem. But stuff like Shuffle, Grisaia, Absolute Duo, and We Without Wings are all good harems. Each of those have good character development and We Without Wings even has a really strong plot. In both of senses of the word. A lot of the dating sim harem adaptations tend to have great stories and character development though.


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37 / M / SW Ontario, Canada
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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 actually much covers it for me.

The MC is one of two things, either a complete dense idiot who no one would ever like (never mind have romantic interest in) or is a god among men who usually has no reason at all for being as amazing as they are outside of "cliched tragic backstory and likely pseudo amnesia."

The romantic interests are often completely one dimensional or, even if they're not, have no real reason for actually liking the MC. They might be strong, independent intelligent characters otherwise but when MC happens to show up they become slightly varying flavours of blathering idiot.

Harems in general are often made simply because they are so cliched and generic but also still liked by so many people hence, just like with Completely Pointless Light Novel Adaptation X, profit is basically guaranteed as long as the "plot" is good.

And, speaking of plot, it generally really doesn't matter. Because of the innate flaws in the formula that is almost always used, none of the window dressing ends up mattering at all. You could have the nicest art style, the most interesting setting, the best plot umbrella around, etc. and the detestable MC and brainless love interests will ruin it all anyway.
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23 / M / Winter Springs, F...
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16
I am pretty sure harem-style anime beats harem-style American television to a bloody pulp. Case in point:
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Posted 6/18/16
I personally dislike them because they tend to incorporate all the story components I don't like. I'm not a fan of romance, slice of life, or inane teenager drama. Also don't care for ecchi. So, that wipes out a good number of harem anime.

As mentioned, a lot of harem tend to have bland mc's and cookie cutter secondary characters that are more archtypes than their own characters. There needs to be a good story or some other thing I like to make up for something like that.

It's just not my genre.
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16

DazaiShinju wrote:

Diabolik lovers is a great example of all the things wrong with the Harem Genre, yet I watched the entire thing through tears of despair and laughter.


I watch it for the same reason (still busy with season 1. From what I've heard season 2 should be even worse). It never fails to make me laugh . The apple-eating sound effect when somebody bites her is one of the best running gags in this series .


The main reason why I'm not that much into Harem anime is because of the characters. Too often the only important character is the MC and everybody else is just there to "serve" the story of the main character. Even the MC is often pretty generic.
I'm simply not really interested in watching a bunch of one dimensional characters trying to get some love from a predictable MC.
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16
Harem is a story element. I wouldn't say it qualifies as being a genre, per se, though it's arguable, yes. Clannad is a harem, but it is an amazing show that doesn't center on being a harem (not for long at least). Oreshura is a harem and one that centers on being a harem in a comedic way. Sure, the MC is dense, but the humor was in how it made fun of other harems. Was it a "comedy" or was it a "harem"? Hopefully that makes my point.

Anime stretches reality. This we know. I mean really, how many real girls fawn around an oblivious back-of-the-class-and-ignored-most-the-year student in a single semester? But we have fun with it, we laugh at all the mishaps, and maybe we forget that we're still watching a show on an arguably comparable level to the Animaniacs. (Please note the presence and location of the word "arguably".)

I think part of what wears on people isn't just the general category itself, it's also the prevalence. If all we had were war shows, we'd be sick of war shows. All the cliches would be known - the fool-hardy soldier, the overbearing general, the gun that doesn't fire or is out of ammo at a critical time, the final battle to decide it all - and we'd be bored again.
For a time, it's amusing to watch an obvious dunder head finagle his way through school, hitch a girl, and experience that embarrassing moment where his confession of love was just played over the loud speakers. But after awhile, we want to see someone think through their decisions. We want to see people learn and do things the right way. Characters should improve, not stay the same. We don't want Mary Sues, but we do want Susie to progress towards being a Mary Sue (without her necessarily getting there before the show's end).

People have already pointed out that generic harems make money. And in general, we see more sexualizing anime, which does two things: 1) lowers quality and 2) invades other categories and genres.

Personally, I'd like to see the harem element stop invading different genres. Just because there are two nice looking girls doesn't mean they both have to take interest in the MC. Why can't the MC just be a lone wolf? Or what's wrong with just one girl?
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Posted 6/18/16
Harems are frowned upon? If you ask me, I think they're too popular. There are several airing simultaneously every season.

I care about good stories and good characters. If an anime has a harem just for the sake of having a harem and nothing else, it's usually bad.

There are good harems though. Some focus on their unique gimmicks like lewd monsters (Monster Musume). Some have characters with a lot of depth to them (Monogatari). Some have protagonists who aren't dumb as nails and live perfect lives for no reason (Grisaia).

Then there are harems that have the same story/concept you've seen a million times, all the girls are cardboard cutouts, and the protagonists are denser than bricks all at the same time. This is the formula for most harems (Hundred, Asterisk War). Some reverse harems have interesting concepts but the execution is poor, the protagonists are also dumb, and the boys are terrible (Amnesia, Diabolic Lovers).


dwilson2000 wrote:

Doesn't help that a lot of them don't even know what a harem show is in the first place, so you have them saying things like Sword Art Online is a harem for some reason...


When there are 3 or more girls in love with 1 boy, it's a harem. It doesn't matter if he already has a girlfriend. That's not stopping the other girls from wanting his D. Everywhere Kirito walks, all the ladies in the room want to have his babies. The only significant female in the entire show who isn't all over him is Yuuki. SAO is known for its harem almost as much as its known for taking place in video games.
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27 / M / Northern Ireland
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16
As someone who formerly liked harems I can tell you the reason I now dislike them is this;


Once you have seen one you have seen the other 27 that will air that year... oh yeah that is the other thing, how bloody many of them there are. Sooooo friggin many of them EVERY season!

And what happens when one comes along and does something different that make you think "hey that one was pretty good, that was unique!"? Every damn single one of them for the next year and half will do that thing.

And now we arrive at the "make them orgasm to power up" trend that has started recently that galls me so much... I'm sorry but get out.


Spoiler to cut down visible post length and conceal slight rambling

Tbh I don't really mind repetitiveness all that much, as a SoL fan I'd have some cheek if I did, but my issue is more with what is being repeated. What is repeated is all the bits I didn't like while all the fun little bits I enjoyed are dying out at an alarming rate.

The first harem in a while I've liked is Monster Musume. I have all the physical copies of the manga currently available in English in Ireland and will keep getting them as they come out and will do the same if it ever gets this far on blu-ray/dvd (CE preferably!).
It is such a fine parody of the older style of harems that is also becomes an excellent example of the genre itself. It knows it is stupid and it runs with it.
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Posted 6/18/16

SDtheElf wrote:

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.


I watch pretty much any and every genre of anime (with one or two exceptions) and won't hesitate to say harem is possibly my top genre.I fully agree that there are some realllly reallllly good ones and some realllly reallllly bad ones but the problem is many who don't like the genre sometimes prefer clumping the good and bad together as one lump sum and tend to look down on those who like the genre unfavorably; Mind you, they're not the majority just the most vocal minority. Ignore them and have fun watching what you enjoy most .

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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16

PhantomGundam wrote:

When there are 3 or more girls in love with 1 boy, it's a harem. It doesn't matter if he already has a girlfriend. That's not stopping the other girls from wanting his D. Everywhere Kirito walks, all the ladies in the room want to have his babies. The only significant female in the entire show who isn't all over him is Yuuki. SAO is known for its harem almost as much as its known for taking place in video games.


No. When there three or more girls in love with one guy and that's the main focus then it's a harem. Which is not the case for SAO...Kirito has a harem yes. But SAO itself is not a harem. The same can be said for Fate/stay night. It's only known for that because people are stupid and need to learn the actual definition of a harem.
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Posted 6/18/16 , edited 6/18/16

dwilson2000 wrote:

No. When there three or more girls in love with one guy and that's the main focus then it's a harem. Which is not the case for SAO...Kirito has a harem yes. But SAO itself is not a harem. The same can be said for Fate/stay night. It's only known for that because people are stupid and need to learn the actual definition of a harem.


You mean Kirito's relationship with a different girl almost every arc wasn't the main focus? Sure could've fooled me...

The only arc that didn't focus on Kirito's harem was Mother's Rosario.
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