What Is Harem Anime: What You Need To Know About This Anime Genre

Are you ready to spice your anime experience? Yes? Then, harem anime might be just what you need. But what is Harem anime?

In this post, we will guide you through what harem anime entails, the history, and why it’s so popular. Also, we have compiled a list of some of the best harem anime that will excite you.

That said, let’s get into the details!

What Is Harem Anime?

Sometimes, you wish your shoujo and shounen could be more – don’t you? That usual one-on-one romance and conventional thrills get boring fast. For starters, the suspense is low-level. Also, you can always tell who ends up together in the end.

With Harem anime, on the other hand, you won’t suffer for thrills and suspense. Indeed, this genre is more like a combination of shoujo and shounen. The difference, however, is that here, the theme is one-to-many.

In summary, a harem protagonist’s anime captures the attention of a group of the opposite sex. The said harem protagonist can be a boy amidst several beautiful girls – that’s the typical plot. Or, you can have a perfect girl attracting numerous boys – the reverse-harem.

Either way, you can expect exciting thrills in this genre. And it comes through the point of suspense. Who will the girl/guy end up choosing from the group? Will the protagonist get who truly loves him/her?

The best part: the love triangles in this genre can be somewhat confusing. At the onset, there might seem to be little to no attraction. Then, it erupts suddenly. Another plot of harem anime is characters faking relationships while they keep searching for “the one.”

Now, you might be thinking harem anime is the usual “falling in love” series. No, it’s not. Here, romance combines with other plots such as fiction, humor, mystery, and psychological elements.

Furthermore, the romance here is polygamous in nature. In other words, harem anime don’t feature the typical love scenes of shoujo and shounen that exhaust you.

If harem anime is unique and different from the typical shoujo and shounen, how did it start? Was it always like “one amidst many”?

History Of Harem Genre

Originally, “Harem” is an Arabic word that translates roughly to activities involving women. In anime, the core remains the same, at least, when the genre started in the 70s. Since then, the anime has adapted various genres to arrive at the total package.

Though the genre started in the 70s, it only gained momentum in the 80s. That was when the acclaimed first harem anime, Urusei Yatsura, made waves. The story follows a boy with numerous love interests.

In Urusei Yatsura, the protagonists couldn’t even decide which cute girl to choose in the end. Regardless, the series spurred harem anime to the spotlight.

Since the 80s, the anime has adapted other templates such as psychological and dark plots and even sci-fi. And unlike the old harem series, today’s version usually finds true love in the end. Also, the characters now do more than only circling love interests.

Overtime, harem anime hasn’t changed in one detail. And that is the nature of the chasers. Throughout history, the series usually have four kinds of interests:

  • The rich one
  • The shy wallpaper
  • The childhood friend
  • The underaged or seeming Lolita

That’s not saying the series follows a script. Nevertheless, an harem anime is incomplete without the four plots.

On a final note, harem anime had changed from its initial outlook of hoarding love interests. Today, the series follows the typical confusion, comedy, and decision of everyday relationship choices.

Even with all those evolutions, has Harem anime captured people’s interest? Are these series worth your time?

Short answer: Harem anime is worth your time and has garnered an impressive fan base across anime lovers. But how? Most importantly, why?

Check Out: What Is Shoujo Anime: What You Need To Know About This Popular Anime Genre

Why Is Harem Anime So Popular?

The answer here is a bit tricky as it is objective. People have various reasons for liking harem anime. Nevertheless, we will try to summarize the overlapping interests.

Culturally, some people find navigating friendship and romantic relationships a tough bone to crack. They could hardly separate and define the interests they keep. For such people, they understand what the protagonist in Harem anime suffers. So, they can sympathize and make jokes about their realities.

Secondly, harem anime stirs engagement from fans. Since you follow the plots, you will soon find yourself rooting for one of the Harem. And when your choice finally gets the nod, the joy you will feel will be exhilarating.

Furthermore, the characters in harem anime are often cute and adorable. So much so that you can hardly root for one. All the elements in the group, from the Lolita to the rich and elegant, are beautiful. And who doesn’t fancy beauty?

Lastly, the plots of harem anime are unique. Indeed, you can tell what the premise entails. Even at that, the story can take a turn that will leave you in a trance. When you thought the protagonist would settle for one of his love interests, he could be undecided till the end and even go rogue. Such suspense and stories are why harem anime is one of the most-watched short series.

Now you know what harem anime is, the history, and the reason. Let’s get practical with some of the best of such series to watch. Here are the top 5 selections to watch:

5 Most Popular Harem Anime You Should Watch

Highschool DXD

Of all the harem anime on our list, Highschool DXD ticks all the boxes. It is action-filled, funny, dark, core-romantic, and the animation is top-notch. Plus, this series contains fan service.

Still, the plot of this high school anime is rich with suspense. More importantly, the characters grew into their roles over time. And that felt real and relatable.

About the story of Highschool DXD, it centers on a high-schooler: Issei Hyoudou. He died on his first date after an encounter with a fallen angel. Soon after, he came back thanks to the help of the devil character: Rias Gremory.

Soon as Rias reincarnated Issei into a devil, he had the mission to climb up the ladder to become the harem king. As such, the series follows his conquests.

Check Out: Best Fan Service Anime Of All Time

Shinmai Maou No Testament

Remember when we said harem anime takes the weirdest forms! Shinmai Maou No Testament is a typical example of that nonconventional script.

In this series, there is magic, action, comedy, and a confused family bonding. The story itself centers on Basara Toujou. He left the least kind of first impressions on one of his stepsisters – barging in on her in the washroom. And that was even way before his father introduced the sisters.

Basara, a former member of Heroes, came to have a demon and her accomplice as stepsisters. Unfortunately, his former group is sworn enemies to the sisters’ activities.

Torn between duty and family, Basara eventually decided to put sisters over his vows. He uses his supernatural powers to guide and protect his stepsisters under the watchful eyes of the Heroes’ clan.

Despite the sense of duty, Basara harbors personal secrets and juggles his love interests. From there, the story unravels, and the plot is one of the most suspenseful we have seen.

Trinity Seven

If you’re tired of the typical “oblivious to feelings and innocent protagonist,” you will love Trinity Seven. In this series, the protagonist knows how the girls feel about him. More beautifully, he gets along with all the girls trooping around him.

About the plot: Trinity Seven combines mystery, magic, and action with the usual harem anime plots. Here, the story revolves around Arata Kasuga. Though living just above average, he’s cheerful and quite brilliant.

Arata’s ordinary life would then take an unprecedented turn. The Black Sun happened, and he lost everything, including his village and most especially his childhood friend, Hijiri.

Fortunately, Hijiri left Arata a somewhat magical amulet to give him strength. Thanks to the artifact, Arata navigated the ruins and discovered the Trinity Seven. That’s when the fun and romance begin!

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Date A Life

In so many ways, Date A Life models Trinity Seven. For starters, it’s a magical series. Also, there was some large-scale destruction here too.

For Date A Life, the destruction is a form of earthquakes. These quakes plagued the people, so much so, they have caused over 100million casualties.

Fortunately, the outlook took a positive turn when the main character, Shido Itsuka, discovered that the quakes are not natural. Through his sister, Shido realized the casualties happen when people jump through dimensions.

Note: the “people” with the jumping abilities are girls.

Funnily enough, the only way to stop the girls from jumping time and dimension is for Shido to hoard them. He must make them fall in love with him and kiss them.

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Infinite Stratos

If you want a combination of science fiction and intense harem romance, try Infinite Stratos. The plot here follows a futuristic outlook on human living conditions. As with most such templates, there is a machine that stretches human knowledge.

The so-called future machines are the Infinite Stratos. They are tools spread across countries. But there’s a twist: only women can operate the armor of the technology.

Now, however, a boy (Ichika Orimura) came into the scene. Ichika is the only man ever with the ability to use the armor of the Infinite Stratos. As such, he will go through an only-girl academy to hone his skills. That’s when all the Harlem antiques started.

Final Thoughts

Harlem anime is worth the hype; it is engaging and comes with intriguing stories. You will find that the plots are relatable and fun. Perhaps you still have doubts. Then, try any of the series on our list and see for yourself!

Written by Charlie

I've watched a lot of anime in my days, but that doesn't stop me from watching more. Whether it be new or old, I'll give it a run-through and tell you what I think about it. We're currently living in the golden age of anime with so many great shows out there to watch.

Some are better than others for sure, but they're all worth checking out at least once. My beautiful daughters also love watching animes...well not as much as their dad does!