Why have one when you could have five?

What is a harem?

Have you ever been in or seen a love triangle? How about a love heptagon where the person everyone has a crush on does not even know they are in one? That is typically the premise of harem anime. A harem, anime wise, refers to polygynous/polyandrous relationships where a heterosexual male protagonist is surrounded by three or more androphic/gynephilic love interests. 

Unfortunately for those who want to watch with the family, one of the main characteristics for harem anime is the fan service, material added to please the fans typically sexual in nature, such as nudity. Therefore, if you are looking for straight fluff and little to no nudity at all, these may not be the titles for you. 

“Is this a zombie?” This title follows the protagonist Ayumu who has terrible luck. Ayumu, who was murdered by a serial killer, was brought back to life by a necromancer Eucliwood, who later moves in with him. Then after being chopped into pieces via chainsaw owned by a magical girl, he transforms into the first ever magical girl zombie. The story is about them as well as other girls trying to escape from everything the afterlife throws at them. 

“Heaven’s Lost Property,” “The Quintessential Quintuplets,” “Rent a girlfriend,” and “Rosario + Vampire,” are popular examples of the harem genre. 

“Demon King Daimao,” revolves around Akuto Sai, who on the day he enters Constant Magic Academy, receives an unexpected future occupation aptitude test result: Devil King. As he tries to figure out his new future and the powers that come with them he meets a collection of people along the way, most of which fall in love with him. 

Additional titles include, “Hanagi: I don’t have many friends,” “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches,” “Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara” (If Her Flag Breaks), and “The World God Only Knows.” 

Thriller anime that exist within this genre include, “School days,” Makito Itou, a student who goes to Sakakino Academy, becomes infatuated with a girl he rides the train to school with. Over the course of the series, he becomes the ambivalent love interest of several girls. Unfortunately for him, many of these girls are what one would classify as a yandere, or a person whose love is so strong they become obsessive and often violent. 

A subgenre of harem is reverse harem, where a gaggle of three or more guys lust after a female protagonist. 

One of the most famous is “Ouran HighSchool Host Club,” Haruhi Fujioka, the only commoner, or non-wealthy student of the elite Ouran Academy. In an attempt to find a solitary place to study, stumbles upon a music room anchoring a host club, or people who entertain clients usually for a living, in this case for entertainment. After breaking a vase that they are unable to pay for, they are named the host club’s dog. The story follows Haruhi and her experiences within the host club.

“Kiss Him, Not Me,” “Brothers Conflict,” “The Wallflower,” and “Yona of the Dawn,” are additional reverse harem titles. “Dance With Devils,” “My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom,” and “Uta No Prince-sama,” also exist within this genre. 

Needless to say, there are many harem anime that have not been named. However, that does not mean they are not good. There are also some harem anime which have little to no fan service. Nevertheless this is a genre of anime that a majority of people, like myself, start their anime journey in. In addition, many of these titles are accessible on Crunchyroll or Hulu.