Harem anime are usually identifiable with multiple girls falling for just one guy in a series and they have become a staple for many anime fans all over the world, even if many titles in the genre are considered bland, boring, repetitive and predictable.
Often, harem anime main protagonists, or Harem Heroes, are dense even though he is completely surrounded by girls who are clearly in love with him. Even if the girls do their best to give him the most clear hints, he still won’t get it. The most famous example would be IS: Infinite Stratos‘s Ichika who has even become a meme for his denseness.
So what are the other usual patterns in the Harem genre? Japanese anime website DDNavi finds out as they ask people in twitter.
The “Main Protagonist Parry”: When a heroine somehow confesses her feelings for the guy, the guy would dodge the confession by pretending not to hear. The most infamous example would be Haganai’s Kodaka who dodged Rika and Sena’s confessions by pretending not to hear them. In other words, it’s the now-infamous, “Huh? What was that?”
“The Saintly Main Protagonist“: One of the members in the harem is sleeping beside the main protagonist, and because he has such strong moral ideals, he never lays a hand on the heroine. This has been demonstrated by various examples including IS: Infinite Stratos’s Ichika, Sword Art Online’s Kirito (for Lizbeth) and believe it or not, even High School DXD’s Issei.
“The Mediocre Hero“: The main protagonist is your plain old average Joe with no special traits whatsoever, and yet, girls are falling for him, just like Nisekoi’s Raku Ichijou.
“Mediocre but has hidden potential“: Yes, many harem heroes may seem normal at first, but they have a lot of hidden surprises in them like High School DXD’s Issei who seems like a normal pervert at first, yet is actually the possessor of the Sacred Gear containing the Welsh Dragon Ddraig. Boost!
The “Childhood Friend“: This trope has been used over and over and over again and as it seems, people really don’t get tired of it with harem anime like Shuffle!, The World God Only Knows and Hayate the Combat Butler! making use of the oh-so-reliable “childhood friend” characters.
He has a little sister: More often than not, the harem hero has a little sister who may or may not be a part of his harem like Sword Art Online’s Suguha/ Leafa, To Love-Ru!’s Mikan and of course, let’s not forget the most infamous little sister of them all, Kirino from OreImo who actually became her brother’s girlfriend which grossed out a lot of fans and divided the OreImo fandom.
He has a male best friend: The hero would most likely have a male best friend who may or may not have a romantic crush on one of the girls in the harem. Examples include Nisekoi’s Shuu and Is this a Zombie’s Orito.
He goes to school: Most harem anime are high school romantic comedies like Nisekoi, Haganai and The Student Council’s Discretion
Too many Heroines: Sometimes, every arc adds a member or two to the harem, like Date A Live and A Certain Magical Index. Heck, in Index, there is even a joke that everybody punched in the face by main protagonist Touma Kamijou automatically joins the harem, and that happens A LOT, almost every episode in fact.
Has a jealous heroine: Comes with the territory, and some have even turned yandere just like the ones in School Days.
There will always be a main heroine: In anime like Nisekoi, The Fate series, OreImo and The Town Where You Live In, it is made very clear who the main girl is. For Nisekoi, it’s Chitoge, even if Onodera is the more popular character, for OreImo, it’s Kirino, for Fate, it’s Saber and for The Town Where you Live in, it’s Yuzuki Eba.
Childhood friends often lose: Yes, in harem anime, there are always childhood friends, but it is very common for them not to win the guy in the end, just ask OreImo’s Manami.
Do you agree with their findings?