What is a Harem?

Harem, hāremumonoハーレムもの,Harem is a genre or plot frame that is mostly present in the Japanese media of anime, manga, Light Novels, Visual Novels, and Video Games. It normally involves one male lead and at least three (often a lot more) girls who are romantically interested in him, or at the very least are bound by circumstances to live with him.

The protagonist either takes it as an Unwanted Harem , reacts as a Harem Seeker, or is Oblivious to Love.

Works where a Harem Genre set-up is put in front of other relationship dynamics, and the plot is written with the intention to keep the harem for the male protagonist’s heart as tied as possible, are known as the
Balanced Harem

3

 

In recent shows, the Harem genre has become somewhat divided into two “routes”. The first, the legitimate “Harem Route”, has the girls choose to share the lead character, equally or otherwise, rather than risk losing him and their friends completely.

The other, more realistic route is called “Shuraba”, sometimes translated as “Bloodbath”; here, there can be only one, and all contenders are willing to destroy their enemy to achieve their own happiness.

In other cases, when a work uses this genre together with a more traditional Romantic Comedy relationship, that is called the Supporting
Harems.

Many of these works are also shared with the Ecchi genre, as it is harder to find a Harem story that isn’t filled with gratuitous Fanservice than one that is.
Contrast Royal Harem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s