Oh boy, it’s been a while since I wanted to write this post and it finally happens 100 years later! As an FYI, this was a question that Kat from GrimmGirl asked me and I was stumped. For the longest time, I’d been avoiding harems. I just didn’t like the idea of a bunch of girls suddenly turning obsessive over an average guy with no bishie appeal?! Of course, this is coming from the person who sees BL vibes everywhere so maybe I’m not one to judge…
But I have to admit that I didn’t even know that harems existed until maybe a few years ago? For example, I watched Ouran High School Host Club and NEVER thought of it as a harem! It was just a really fun series about Haruhi who ends up as part of the host club in order to pay off her debt for breaking a super expensive vase.
Of course, the hosts soon find out that Haruhi is actually a girl but the fun shenanigans continue regardless. Tamaki then ends up being the love interest and yeah. That’s basically my recollection of this series. Usually, when I think of harems, I think of more than one love interest for the main character. Maybe I missed the fact that Haruhi is surrounded by a bunch of bishie babes that love her (platonically mostly) and that that may also count as “love” interests
It also wasn’t until much later that I found out that the twins (or one of them??) had a crush on her?! I heard it’s better developed in the manga and you bet I refused to read that. I was very happy with how the anime was worked out and I loved the idea of just Haruhi and Tamaki and didn’t want someone else to intrude into this ship. Plus, do you know how painful it is to choose between ships? I love the twins but I can clearly see the chemistry between these two
The next harem that I watched and that I also didn’t realize was a harem until after the fact (I was Mindblown) was GATE. Don’t even ask me HOW I missed it since at this point I knew what harems were. Plus it’s way more obvious than Ouran (at least to me) because I learned about reverse harems even later than your typical guy in the center harem
The funny thing is that GATE is one of my favorite anime. There’s just something about Itami that is lowkey bishie material
totally not being biased ok. Plus, even though we could tell that the ladies loved him (Rory is my favorite!), he was just so immersed in being an otaku and doing his job that I didn’t catch the harem vibes.
Perhaps it’s because I associate harems with sexual feelings (which I am not against, come on this is a YAOI blog!) that I just can’t get into them, but these two shows have shown me it’s not all bad…if I don’t notice they’re harems. I think that may be the key to watching harems. Hiding them
Of course, these haven’t been my only encounters with harems
I also tried watching Kiss Him Not Me, which I immediately dropped because of the body image themes it had. I noticed a lot of people ended up liking that show but it will forever be in my dropped pile
But sometime after Ouran and WAY before Gate, I read Kiss of the Rose Princess, which I also didn’t realize was a harem (Maybe my eyesight is worse than I thought…). I just picked it up because it was cute and when I started reading I just couldn’t stop! I don’t even remember what the story is at this point (I read it before it was printed) but I remember shipping Anis with Kaede because I thought he was just so nice but also had a bad boy vibe to him? OK, now I’m revealing my bishie kinks!
I do have a habit of shipping one character with multiple people but this is usually in the fandom world. For example, I remember that I shipped Sakura with Kakashi, Itachi, and at one point with Sasori (blame it on Lady Hanaka!). But if it’s going to be canon, I like my ships to have certainty, which is something I find harems lack
Do I like A? Or do I like B? Oh wait, I actually like F! Oh no, it’s actually D! Please make up your mind?? I often wonder why it’s only the main character who has trouble choosing when their harem is 1000% sure they are in love with them. Learn from your suitors (Ok, I actually know why from a certain standpoint). And yes, I’m also not a fan of love triangles
But the worst part of harems…well, I’ll leave that for tomorrow when I cry about one of my latest reads, which is a harem. I went in hoping it wouldn’t be but just WHYYY
Let me know what you guys think about harems and if you had to pick your #1 Harem title, what would it be and why?