What is Harem/Reverse Harem Anime? [Definition, Meaning]

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Zero no Tsukaima (The Familiar of Zero) wallpaper

It’s living the dream! If you’ve watched anime for even a short amount of time, I’m sure you’ve come across this genre at least once. What is it exactly? Well, in a word, it is the dream of any otaku. Have I got your imaginations working?

Harem Anime

The typical harem stars a male protagonist who is usually, your average guy. Most times he is shy and quiet; sometimes, he’s a hentai! Usually, though, he’s a nice guy with redeeming features while his best friend is the actual pervert. The main character has to be relatable, right?

This average guy is always surrounded by a group of girls. What type of girls, you ask? Cute, sexy, adorable, aloof—you name it! These bishoujo surround our main character and adore him inside and out! Isn’t that every otaku’s dream? While each anime differs, the girls fall under several main categories: the sadist, bubbly with big boobs, the bossy bishoujo, the Lolita, the childhood friend, the mysterious girl, the tsundere, and the megane. Yes, there are more types but I think you get the picture. There are girls for all types of ideal. What’s your ideal?

Harem anime typically include ecchi as a genre as well, so prepare for boobs. Yup, lots of boobs! Harem anime is also full of comedy, some romance, and all sorts of fetishes. However, do not fret, because not all harem anime are about the boobs. Shuffle! is a harem anime known for a lot of mystery and a darker theme than other harem, but, compared to other harem anime, there is a lack of nudity in the series. Regardless, you still got quite a few bishoujo to melt your heart!

Zero no Tsukaima (The Familiar of Zero)

zero no tsukaima dvd1
  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2006 – September 2006

Who can possibly forget this harem? It is about a boy named Hiraga Saito who was summoned from his world to be the familiar of Louise, a loser magician at Tristein Academy, who has been unable to properly use her magic. Unfortunately, no matter how much the two do not like each other, they’re stuck—Saito cannot go back to Japan and Louise cannot summon another familiar, so they must learn to work together as magician and familiar.
This anime was so popular at its time that it did summon 2 sequels! There are so many girls in this anime of different personas, you can’t get bored because they definitely don’t fall under the realm of “normal” harem girls. There are antics, hijinks, and adventures to be had in this anime! Watch the plot unfold as we discover what is truly going on behind the scenes at Tristein Academy.

Zero no Tsukaima Trailer

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Reverse Harem Anime

Now, girls, do not feel left out because you can look forward to the reverse harem anime!

Reverse harem anime is in a word, the reverse of harem anime. Your main character is a girl, generally clumsy, sweet, and average in appearance. Sometimes, she’s a gender bender as shown in Ouran High School Host Club where Haruhi dresses like a boy to play a host. Either way, she’s a girl that is likeable and relatable because don’t we like to put ourselves in the shoes of the protagonist?

The main character is surrounded by guys—lots of hot bishounen that will make your heart go “doki doki”! Just like with harem anime, you have a bishounen for all types of ideals like the megane character, the tsundere, the childhood friend, the playboy, the shota, and the sporty type. Regardless what reverse harem it is, you will probably see these types of characters the most. You need a bishounen for all fantasies, right?

Unlike harem anime, reverse harem anime does not have nudity, although there may be a few shirtless scenes. It does not have ecchi scenes. It is not as comedic as harem anime, but the right bishounen can make your heart race and your face blush. Actually, some of the guys get downright aggressive, and while that’s cute in harem anime, in a reverse harem, it’ll have you clinging to the edge of your seat clawing at the screen. Can you withstand the pure seductive qualities of these dastardly bishounen?

Ouran Koukou Host Club (Ouran High School Host Club)

Ouran High School-DVD
  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2006 – September 2006

In the halls of Ouran Gakuen exists a host club where rich students go for relief from their boredom. While attempting to find a quiet place to study, Fujioka Haruhi stumbles across this host club and accidentally destroys a valuable vase. Unfortunately, Haruhi is a commoner who is at the school on a scholarship and cannot pay for it, so Haruhi is forced to work for the host club as their dog.
Surrounded by these entitled rich kids, Haruhi is forced to undergo a makeover to become a handsome host to pay off the debt, however, Haruhi is actually a girl! This genderbender anime is one of the most popular anime due to the funny antics, comedy, and appeal to girls. There’s a guy for all tastes! You’ll even love Haruhi for her cool attitude and bluntness. She definitely doesn’t get fazed by her handsome companions. If you haven’t seen this silly reverse harem, you are seriously missing out!

Ouran High School Host Club Trailer

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Ouran Koukou Host Club (Ouran High School Host Club) wallapaper

Now, these genres may not be for everyone, but can you deny liking even one? Don’t miss out on these fantasies. However, beware, they are not for the faint of heart or the innocent of minds!

Jenangelx3

Editor

Author: Jenangelx3

California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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