On romance in anime #3: Romance as HaremsAugust 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Anime, Makoto Shinkai, Review | 3 Comments
Harem anime, where to begin….? The anime community is swarming with such series, and they’re popular for the various female stereotypes that you can squee over. You have the Tsundere, the Moemoe, the Kuudere, the Yandere, the Genki Girl, the Ordinary Girl, the Ojou. You get females with mature/childish personalities/bodies, all for your picking. There are tons of fanservice thrown in, especially during beach episodes with swimsuits and boobs everywhere.
As for the plot, as Lucky Star pointed out, the protagonist usually is some loser guy who scores with no girls, but suddenly finds himself surrounded by tons of popular girls who, for some weird reasons, are still unattached and interested in this loser guy.
The ending? If there is a Childhood Friend, or if the first girl that the loser guy bumps into is featured slightly more than the rest, you get your One True Pairing. If not, the loser guy gets a happily-ever-after living with all the desirable girls under one roof.
The first few harems that I watched are Ah! My Goddess, Ai Yori Aoshi, Love Hina and Ranma ½. Series like DearS, Futakoi, Happy Lesson and Magikano put me to sleep. Series like Rosario + Vampire and Sekirei have tons of fanservice, but still put me to sleep.
Poeple watch harem series for the lulz, for the fanservice, for the cute girls, for the light-hearted plots. Much as I enjoy looking at cute girls, I prefer more depth in their personalities. I want at least something more in the plot, rather than watching something with as much plot as Transformers, which successfully put me to sleep in the cinema. So why am I still watching harems if I dislike them so much? Well… my general policy is to watch almost everything I can get my hands on, to get an idea of the otaku community’s preferences. So what are some harems that I feel deserve special mention? Read on.
I was almost crying out of despair when watching episode 1 of Sister Princess. Wataru Minakami failed an entrance exam (loser guy~), but was enrolled in a school in Promised Island where he found out that he has twelve sisters who threw themselves all over him. Obviously a marriage between Harem and Brother-Sister Incest, with each sister having a different honorific term for the loser. How the heck does he have so many sisters w/o even knowing of their existence?! Seeing as how I hell am NOT into such fetishes, sorry, NEXT!
Toradora and Zero no Tsukaima both deserve special mention together. Hint: What do Taiga and Louise have in common? Ans: their seiyuu Kugyu (Kugimiya Rie), otherwise known as your Queen of Tsundere. If anything, just watch both series for her voice. You can even throw in Shakugan no Shana as a trilogy for Kugyu tsunderes despite it not being a harem.
Wind: A Breath of Heart is another series whose name I will remember, even if the plot does not leave that much impression. Why? 1. The original creator is minori; 2. The CG work is done by Makoto Shinkai. Enough said. Such for the animation, not the plot.
A rare harem that I actually enjoyed is the comedic Nagasarete Airantou, where Ikuto ran away from home and landed on an island with all pretty girls and no guys. Superficial plot? Yes, but at least it comes with laughters.
Another that I enjoyed is Mahou Sensei Negima. Ignoring the filler character named Negi and the other 29 girls in his class, I watch the show solely for KonoSetsu (Konoka and Setsuna). Considering that the scenes in which Setsuna appeared with Konoka is only 1~2% of each episode, I’m now well-trained in selective video-skipping.
Last but not least, the infamous School Days. Either hailed as a masterpiece or total piece of crap. Fans praise it for dealing with adolescent issues such as realism of male hormones and teenager pregnancy. Haters, or at the very least ME, despise him for being a sex-crazed bastard who runs from all responsibilities after having sex with everyone (the school only has 2 guys?) in the school. School Days is most well-known for 2 things, the Nice Boat meme, and the ending. Probably the only episode I enjoyed. I need a Makoto dakimakura to stab him more. If only it is real.
[Edit: Flip of the coin, 2 sides to each story. To be fair, here’s a review on why the series is a piece of art. Really enlightening and deep. o_O]
Now, time for the harem I super highly recommend, Code Geass! Hope you enjoy these 2 promotions for Code Geass the harem game! XD
(If only they really are coming out…)