The Salty Anime Challenge Day 8: Least Favorite Genre(s)

This one’s really a no brainer – harem anime.

I’m really slamming harem anime lately…..I might want to rephrase that.

I even wrote a while back about my distaste of the genre. Long story short, while it’s definitely not meant for me in the first place, harems are some of the laziest shows you can get your hands on. Flat, uninteresting Gary Stu main lead, meet 4-7 insanely beautiful girls you’d have a little to no chance with in real life who fill the criteria of traditional harem characters such as glasses girl, lolicon fodder, childhood friend who is most likely the main love interest, tough and loud chick, and whore.

Gasp and giggle as MC gets himself into all sorts of wacky shenanigans like accidentally groping one of them, accidentally seeing one of them naked, accidentally causing a big misunderstanding that will make main love interest probably punch him and accidentally falling in love because the writers said so.

Let’s not forget the squabbling.

‘He’s my uninteresting male protagonist!’

‘No he’s mine!’

‘Let’s settle this with a boob groping fight in the hot spring!’

…Alright, that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.

I forgot to mention the overly dramatic ones, like H2O or School Days, but that’s a whole different can of worms that still basically works on the same foundation. The same tropes still happen, but they’re surrounded by ultra-drama that is usually capped off with an insane and ridiculous ending.

Not all harems are completely lazy or irredeemable, in fact there are some that are fairly good, but I’ve found that, as a whole, the genre is a minefield of pointless, badly written pandering that I am more than glad to actively avoid.

10 thoughts on “The Salty Anime Challenge Day 8: Least Favorite Genre(s)

  1. The genre certainly attracts more than its fair share of duds, and yet I don’t actively avoid the genre. I think in my case I more go into it fairly cautious and if I don’t get drawn in by the main characters in the first episode or two I drop it fairly readily knowing that I’m not that interested in the harem. Though I have much the same reaction to sports anime. If the characters don’t grab me quickly, I’m not interested in watching the sport enough to keep going.

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  2. I’m not a fan of harem either as most of them are just very uninteresting to me, or so over the top with nonsense that it’s just unpleasant. I do try to stay open-minded about it on the off chance that I will discover a genuinely good one one day and be surprised. There are a couple that weren’t absolutely terrible that I found enjoyable enough. But only a couple out of the tons and tons that there are. Another one I don’t tend to watch, as Karandi mentioned, is sports anime. The first couple episodes to see if fits my fancy, but if it doesn’t then I drop ’em.

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    • I’ll give harem anime the benefit of the doubt with an episode, especially if the synopsis seems like it has more to it, but I typically will have no qualms with dropping it after that.

      I actually tend to enjoy sports anime, especially tournament arcs, which is weird because I’m not a big sports fan. Only sport I actively follow is hockey and damned if there are any hockey anime. Only thing that turns me off of sports anime is when they get….creepy about it. You know, when they act like the sport is the wind beneath their wings, the oxygen they breathe and the reason the world keeps turning. Like, guys, it’s great that you enjoy the game, but maybe you should consider therapy.

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  3. What is your opinion of “reverse harem” anime?

    Also, were I writing a harem anime, I’d have it so that the main dude is into all the girls, but maybe they aren’t all into him. Perhaps they’re all just friends, and the guy’s main objective is to get to know them better and maybe romance one of them. Also, maybe less fanservice and more character development (though fanservice is still fun, it shouldn’t take up the whole show). The guy (and we) can know the ladies as people, not objects. The harem genre could be really good if people just tried.

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    • Reverse harems are better because they’re fanservice for me—I mean, uh, well…I think reverse harems basically suffer as much as harems just in a different way. While harems will focus more on ecchi and sexual situations, reverse harems are usually more about the romance side and kissing. Reverse harems tend to be more tolerable, in my opinion, because they at least pretend they have a plot, and the main character….usually doesn’t come off as a two-timing tramp, plus the art tends to be a lot better. In both situations, the MC is usually a bland Mary Sue/Gary Stu, though.

      Reverse harems probably have it better because us women are more refined and demand more from our anim–Whooo! He’s taking his shirt off! I hope he has a heated conversation with the stoic bad boy with his shirt off and them both standing super close–…*ahem* I mean, I’m certain this will….contribute…to the plot…*cough* ….My name’s FiddleTwix and I am a hypocrite.

      “The guy (and we) can know the ladies as people, not objects. The harem genre could be really good if people just tried.” Bless your wonderful heart, my dear. In a perfect world….In a perfect world…

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  4. I always find these situations sad, because you know that the girls want to start something but the MC refuses to do anything since they like the attention. Imagine liking someone who you know can’t commit to you, but also has a lot of other girls who he won’t commit to either. Everyone is just left in a limbo and the only one benefiting is the MC.

    Then you get cases like Re:Monster where he starts having relations with one character and then everyone in his harem says, “Hey, that’s no fair we want sex too and at the same time!” Ugh, I hope that novel never gets an anime adaptation, but it’s popular so…

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  5. I wholeheartedly agree about harem shows. They got super popular when I started getting into anime outside of what was on TV. Sure, I’ll give Tenchi Muyo a pass because there’s a legit plot and there were actually funny moments, but most of them are trash. I used to like Happy Lesson because there was some comedy aspects that worked, but as an adult, I find it repulsive in hindsight. If you reversed the genders of Happy Lesson, you would have a teenage girl who is adopted by 5 dads who all teach at the school she attends while doing wacky things and she eventually falls in love with one of the dads. Trust me, someone would’ve called the cops in and out of context of that anime if that happened!

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    • I never heard of Happy Lesson, but Yikes! The creepiness of so many harem shows is really made apparent when you reverse the genders.

      A good example that comes to mind is Maburaho. It’s an anime set in a world where people have varying levels of magic and the MC has magic powers from an incredibly powerful bloodline (even though he himself is seen as a loser because he has a very limited number of times he can use his magic) and all of the girls are pursuing him not because they’re in love with him (one of them is, though) but because they want to marry him and have his baby so they can obtain the power of his bloodline. Already creepy, but reverse the roles and it’s a bunch of high school boys relentlessly harassing a high school girl with the goal of getting her pregnant so they can lay claim to her bloodline. o_o

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      • Yeah. I was a teenager when it came out and when I saw it, so I didn’t know better about Happy Lesson. Nowadays, I find that show disturbing especially after seeing The Final OVA.

        I’ve heard of that anime but never saw it. I remember reading negative reviews of that show way back then and said the dub was the only saving grace of that anime. That really is disturbing especially if you reverse the genders.

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