The harem anime genre and horrible male characters

sentou01

We released the BD version of the Juuden-chan specials, and I was reminded how great this anime was.

I literally (or figuratively) grew up with anime. My first recorded memory was me getting up on a warm afternoon, ran to the next room, grabbed a chair, reached for the TV, turned on the knob to channel 12 and saw the opening sequence of Voltes V. It’s kinda amusing to think my first ever memory was me getting up just in time for some super robot anime.

Throughout my childhood, I was watching shounen and mecha anime all the time and I never saw slice of life anime or even harem anime when I was younger. I tend to favor mecha anime more because I love science fiction as a kid and funnily enough, it was mecha that introduced me to romance anime in the form of Vision of Escaflowne, an anime I consider my favorite of all time.

allenhitomi01

There were romance-themed anime like Sailor Moon, Fushigi Yuugi, etc., but I didn’t like the stories. It was Vision of Escaflowne that got me interested in romance. Van Fanel was a great guy with a troubled past and carrying the burden of his fallen kingdom Fanelia, but I know he deserves the heroine Kanzaki Hitomi. I was actually an Allen Schezar x Hitomi fan and I was all giddy when the two kissed, but in the end, Allen considered Hitomi as a younger sister, so… I gave up.

Once I got older and got exposed to nudity thanks to Project A-ko, and had access to bittorrent and internet, I had the freedom to watch anime whenever I want. I was young back then and to satisfy my sexual urges as a youth, I watched anime catered to those needs. Here comes the harem genre.

lomo-zero-no-tsukaima-final-series-01-raw-512x288-h264-aac-mp4_snapshot_00-14_2012-01-07_09-53-09

Pardon my lack of screenshots. I’m only using whatever screenshots I find in my computer.

As soon as I got internet, I downloaded a lot of harem anime because I liked the idea of a guy getting showered with boobies and pussies all day. One of the first harem shows I watched (just to name a few) were Girls Bravo!, To-Heart (forgot which one), Love Hina, Hand Maid May, and SHUFFLE!.

Harem anime has a basic formula: a very nice guy with lots of female friends, and these girls love the guy because he is nice and kind, or a childhood friend, etc. The guy usually never picks the best girl because he’s afraid of hurting the feelings of the other girls, or it’s not a harem anime if the guy picks a final girl.

whynot-mayo-chiki-01-e4e086c1-mkv_snapshot_11-14_2011-07-11_07-10-19

Obviously the highlight of every harem show is the lewd fanservice. The guy would often grab the boobs of the girls, or slip while pulling down a girl’s skirt, or the guy saw the girl’s panties because he was laying on the floor. I loved every bit it. Heck, I watch these shows just for the boobies.

Once I got older and have seen a ton of harem anime, my views changed.

exiled-destiny_school_rumble_2nd_term_ep17_e82c58f8-mkv_snapshot_11-49_2016-02-04_14-51-38

Looking back, the male characters from harem anime were always this generic loser with short black hair and zero personality. Girls only fell for them because they did something noble, or the guy gave them an unexpected gift, or whatever.

I’ve grown to dislike these characters and stopped caring for harem anime because romance is good if the guy works hard to earn the love of the girl. It feels empty and unsatisfying if the girl does all the work. Heck, in anime, the girl confesses to the guy first. I’m sure the male characters were made this way because they’re like placeholders for people to self-insert to, but it doesn’t change the fact the characters are shallow.

Soon after, I shied away from harem anime, but my desire to see lots of beautiful girls still remained. Thankfully, I found a replacement: Cute girls doing cute things. If you take out the boring male character from a harem anime and let the girls interact with each other, the result is probably this.

horriblesubs-yuruyuri-s3-05-720p-mkv_snapshot_03-06_2015-11-04_20-17-46

After ignoring harem anime, I’ve been watching shows of this format like GochiUsa, Lucky Star, A-Channel, Morita-san wa Mukuchi, Yuru Yuri, Aikatsu!, etc. They offer the complete experience without the annoyance of a dumb male character. And admittedly, I’m quick to antagonize the male characters (if there’s one) because I was sure they were either dumb or generic and dumb who added nothing to the story, and devalue the girls because they fell in love for him for no apparent reason.

nagasumi01

That is not to say I hate male characters. I love them if they’re given actual personality and purpose. I easily dismissed Nagasumi from Seto no Hanayome because I thought he was another generic guy with short black hair. However, Nagasumi proved me wrong because he showed me he’s a great character with balls of steel and is someone who can protect the girl he likes.

nagasumi02

Look at this motherfucker. Not only he’s a bad ass with personality, he also gets the girls. He fucking earned it.

nagasumi03

He’s fucking funny too, and I didn’t even mind the yaoi vibes every time he sees Masa-san.

horriblesubs-monster-musume-no-iru-nichijou-01-720p-mkv_snapshot_15-33_2016-02-29_23-51-21

One of the recent harem anime I liked was Monster Musume. Kimihito is your generic guy who’s good at cooking with a charm that could melt the hearts of any monster girl, but he earned my respect because he has a heart of gold and can deal one mean punch.

horriblesubs-working-02-720p-mkv_snapshot_21-31_2016-01-10_20-21-10

Sato is one of my favorite characters in Working! (Yamada a best, btw) and he can be cute when he’s in front of Yachiyo or tries to express his feelings towards Yachiyo. I’m not sure he won the heart of Yachiyo because I haven’t seen the 3rd season, but more power to him. This is funny because I’m supporting heterosexual romance over the lesbian romance. I want Sato to win.

sentou02

And, uh… There’s nothing much to say at this point. I loved harem anime at one point, but I’ve grown to dislike the genre because the male characters are so horrible and are unworthy of a girl’s love. Though at the same time I have to thank the genre because it led me to watch and enjoy slice of life shows featuring girls doing cute things.

Too bad it’s rare to find good harem anime and good male characters.

— SHiN @ Lazy Lily Fansubs

One thought on “The harem anime genre and horrible male characters

  1. I have to say, I’m quite impressed with how boldly you stated your sexual desires in public. Don’t worry, I mean that as a compliment.

    Speaking of harem, your view of the male characters as horrible and unworthy of a girl’s love is understandable. The harem genre for the most part is artificial and developed simply for the pleasure of those who fantasize about them, as well being played for laughs. I, for the most part prefer pure love between a male and female, for which their relationship goes through plenty of development, which makes it more heartwarming and natural that way. Your Lie In April is a good example of that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *