Harem Genre

There tends to be a trend of people not liking the one person who is the object of a number of people’s affection. For many people it is a natural aversion. However, in a story this can be done well, but also faces the same challenges as it would in real life. In manga and anime there can be a trend of a harem or reverse harem of a number of memebers of the opposite gender rallying around one central characters, sometimes as a love interest other times as a a group of protectors. Either way, you find yourself in a story with an imbalanced gender distribution of characters.

The One

Rosario + Vampire

Rosario + Vampire

Often the character that is surrounded by a mass of others, can be disliked if their character isn’t played off well. This is many because if the character that is surrounded doesn’t come off as an appealling person it can be easy to wonder why anyone would care about them. Thus it would become irritating when character after character decides to support them. However, if the creator isn’t careful, they risk turning the audience away if the character comes off as too perfect.

As a result, the central character has to be the most balanced and fleshed out character. These characters have to be able to reasonably draw in their harem, while also appealing to the audience in some way. Unfortunately, it is fairly common to have the central character essentially be a bumbling idiot or someone incapable of reaching personal goals without some assistance. Thankfully there are a number of stories that do upend the idea that the central character is some sort of fool. However, their comptency is often supplemented by another trait that can at times make one think less of the character like being aloof or bumbling.

It’s about the Harem

Kamisama Hajimemashita

Kamisama Hajimemashita

One of the biggest features of the harem genre, is the harem. While the harem flocks around a central character, it’s easy to think that the story is all about them. In many ways it is, but the harem generally gets a lot of attention. Usually there are at least a few characters within the harem that are particularly important. Or front runners. In many cases, the members in a harem take the front stage with the most enigmatic personalities and interesting back stories. In many ways, the harem becomes the driving force to continue onward with the story as they become the ones you are most invested in.

Harem Genre

As I mentioned before, the harem genre is popular in manga. There you will see traditional harems with numerous female characters surrounding a male character. But there is also the reverse harem, which like the name implies inverts the traditional harem so you have a large cast of males surrounding a female.

Do you enjoy any harem genre stories?

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