5 Things To Know About... #2

Hello again! I liked doing the first list so much, I decided to do part two of the Harem Anime list!

If you don't know what I'm talking about, then look to the first list HERE. And just so you know, there are shows like this that feature a female lead. These are sometime referred to as a reverse harem anime. The only example I can come up with right now is Ouran High School Host Club. I thought this show was hilarious, and I saw a lot of cosplayers dressed up from this show at Sakuracon, so I'm really expecting it to come stateside.

5 Things To Know About Harem Anime - Part 2...

  1. There is always a childhood promise. In fact, most of these shows start with a flashback where the male and female lead are little kids, and they make a promise to each other. It's mostly "I will be your bride" or "Please remember me" or "I will protect you," but there are some variations here. And you don't always know during the first episode as they will cut away before the actual promise is said. This really should have been in the first list, as it is always a major plot point.
  2. The beach trip/local festival/school festival episode. There are almost always episodes of the mentioned varieties. There is always an episode where they take a trip to the beach. Why? Well, they want to show the girls in swimsuits, since these shows are geared towards guys. There is always a show where they go to a local festival. Why again? Well, they like to show the the girls in Yukatas (summer Kimonos). Women's Yukatas are much fancier then men's and feature prints. And the guys like to see women in them. It's just as sexy to be dressed up as it is to be exposed. In the harem animes set in school, there are always festival episodes. There are two types of festivals featured here: the sports festival and the cultural festival. These are very important events in high school in Japan. The sports festival gets everyone involved, and classes compete against each other. It's also a good excuse to show the girls in school gym uniforms, which normally consist of a white t-shirt and shorts which look more like long bikini bottoms than anything we're used to. For cultural festivals, each class and club decides on something to do, such as have a cafe, put on a play, do a haunted house, tell fortunes, etc. This, of course, gives you many options for clothing, not to mention hijinks.
  3. The blonde girl is half-American. I'm not sure when American became a race, but apparently in Japan it is. This is actually true in a lot of anime, not just Harem Anime. I also noticed that the blond American characters are all a bit on the obnoxious side. They are not necessarily obnoxious to the point of not being likable, but definitely louder then the other characters and a little weird. They also speak kinda funny, compared to the other characters, but that can be expected of anyone speaking a foreign language, I suppose.
  4. The female lead will have a fan club. Now, you may not think this is that unusual, but the main purpose of the fan club is not necessarily just to idolize and worship her (although they do that), but to prevent any guy from getting close to her, including the club members themselves. What this accomplishes (besides comic hijinks when the club members chase the male lead around), I'm not sure. Maybe it's the mentality of, "If I can't have her, no one else can." This particular item occurs only in Harem Anime that are in set in schools, because it is a convenient place to have lots of guys worship one girl, but most of these are set in school, so this fact applies.
  5. Expect Fan Service. This is also not unique to this genre, but it's definitely heavily used here and that is understandable. For those not familiar with the term "fan service," it can mean a number of things, but there are two that I find most of the time. The first are subtle (or not so subtle) homages to other shows, like a character appearing in the background, a poster from another show on the wall, etc. The other is any shot of a female character in a prone position or exposing themselves, like a panty shot, cleavage shot, bent over, etc. You can guess that the second one is the one that we're talking about here and it makes sense. These animes are geared towards guys, so of course you're going to see these types of things.

Like I said last time, if you can accept these 5 additional things, then you too can enjoy harem anime! Well, maybe next time I'll cover giant robot anime, fighting anime, or magical girl anime. Until then, enjoy!