Anime Top 10 List: Harem
Harem (HRM) is an anime genre where there’s usually one main character who’s surrounded by multiple characters of the opposite sex (who are most of the time, all potential love interests). As particular as it is and given the fact that it can lead to all sorts of predictable situations (awkward or not), this genre is often accompanied by other genres such as: romance, comedy, and ecchi.
Also, the main character having a HRM is a usually male while the opposite of this, called a “reverse Harem” (reverse HRM) is usually a female.
Since this genre is a fairly popular these days (amassing a huge fan base and producing a lot of titles), I decided to make a top 10 list of the best Harem anime you can watch and enjoy. Have fun!
10. Nagasarete Airantou
Nagasarete Airantou is about one guy and an deserted island fully-packed with girls. On top of that, all the girls are obsessively curious about the guy (because they’ve never seen one before). So, they try to chase him every minute of every single day. Being chased by a lot of girls might be a dream come true for most guys, but for Ikuto Touhouin, it’s a horrible nightmare. Withholding that fact, this show is legitimately a star of this genre.
The show follows the story of Ikuto Touhouin, a 14-year-old boy who’s at the peak of his youth. After getting into a fight with his father, he decides to run away and go on vacation by boarding a ship. However, it never crossed his mind that his simple vacation would turn into a one-of-a-kind experience. When a storm hit the ship , he gets thrown off into the ocean only to wake up on a peculiar island with its population entirely made up of, well, girls.
Nagasarete Airantou – Opening Song Theme
9. Trinity Seven
It’s one special guy with a cast of several equally special gals. But, that’s not all there is to it. What marks this anime as special is the main character’s unique quality that separates him from other main characters in the genre. Arata Kasuga gets along smoothly with his entire all-girl troupe, like a conforming wave in the vast ocean. He’s not dense at all and is totally aware of everything.
When a black sun shows up in the sky bringing forth a phenomenon called the “Collapse Phenomenon,” Arata Kasuga realizes that something’s terribly off with the world — his cousin Hijiri Kasuga was missing and a mysterious magician was after him. After realizing what was happening, and taking the grimoire into his possession, Arata decides to enroll in a mage academy to look for his cousin. There, he meets the best-of-the-best when it comes to magic and skills — the Trinity Seven!
Trinity Seven – Trailer
8. Grisaia no Kajitsu
It doesn’t get any more exclusive than this! Grisaia no Kaijutsu isn’t your standard HRM anime with all the regular tropes and usual elements. For one, this anime is in the psychological genre (a rarity for HRM). Also, it’s packed with thrills, serious developments, and a ton of suspense — all qualities that make this one exceptional and different from others. It manages to both contain some of the essential elements of an HRM show with it’s psychological genre. It’s marvelously tied together.
The story takes place at a special school that’s dedicated in reforming the “bad apples.” There, we’ll meet five female students with lives each holding terrible and regrettable secrets. Up until now, everyone attending the school is female. But then, one day, a male student comes in to join the class with them. Despite everyone having dark secrets of their own, the new student, Kazami Yuuji, might just have the most controversial secret and darkest past of them all.
Grisaia no Kajitsu – Trailer
7. Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko (The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat)
If you think that this is yet again another senseless HRM show with the overused clichés and whatnot, then you’re actually right . . . and also wrong! You’re in for a big surprise! Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko might seem pretty average in terms of story and consistency. However the characters (especially the main character) makes up for this, resulting in an above-average HRM. Harem? Check. A bit of ecchi? Check. Comedy? Check. Romance? Check. Cuteness/Adorability (Moo factor)? Gazillions of check marks!
After learning about the existence of a stony cat that grants wishes, Youto Yokodera decides to give it a try in order to bring out his true self and show his perverted nature to the world. After always being considered pure and innocent, he’s had enough of not being able to truly represent and express his true self. However, he’ll soon be faced with unpredictable complications in his new life, as well as the new tie he has made with a fellow wisher.
Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko – Trailer
6. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano)
This is one of the newest anime series of the HRM genre. Even though it’s just a few episodes in so far, I’m already struck by the brilliance of this show. So much that I’ve included it on this list – and in the Top 6 nonetheless!
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata shimmers with respect to its plot and comical nature. Yes, it’s a standard HRM show, but that’s what actually makes it interesting. I was hooked from the first episode and still am, with every episode so far being excellent. For a fresh HRM anime show, I must say this has a gigantic potential!
The biggest otaku of the school, Aki Tomoyo, stumbles a rare moment with what seemed to be his perfect girl. His heart suddenly flutters, causing him to want to create a game based on that special moment (even though he doesn’t know who the girl is). Dead serious about his new project at this point, he enlists two of the most popular students of his school, Eriri Spencer Sawamura and Utaha Kasumigaoka to help him. Later on that day, he crosses paths again with this seemingly perfect girl. Only this time, to his surprise, she’s actually not what he thought she would be originally.
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – Trailer
Nisekoi is HRM done right. Yes, done right! It has all the essentials and it even thrives while using all the usual clichés you’ll see from HRM. This is because it manages to carry out all of this in a way that’s incredibly effective, so much that you stop seeing it as just ordinary or like all the others. Proper execution and making the most out of the classic tropes are key here, and Nisekoi has succeeded in both.
When he was a child, Raku Ichijou made a promise to a certain girl that when they finally reunite someday, they would marry. Up to this day, he holds on to the pendant that the girl gave to him. Years later, when in high school, he has a crush on a girl named Kosaki Onodera. Due to his family being the yakuza group known as the Shuei-gumi and the fact that he’s the only heir, he is forced to go along with a made-up relationship as couple with a girl named Chitoge Kirisaki, who’s an heir of another group called the Bee Hive Gangsters. Now he has to deal with juggling the made-up relationship and his true feelings towards Kosaki at school.
Nisekoi – Trailer
4. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (Haganai)
What makes Boku Tomodachi ga Sukunai stand out the most is the fact that it’s using an interesting premise alongside familiar settings — school and clubs. Also, it delivers so many jokes that it’ll make you laugh out loud every moment you watch it. Believe it or not, the guy-surrounded-by-girls theme works great with this one. All the awkward moments are hilarious. Combine that hilarity with its perfect blend of themes and we have an instant classic.
Kodaka Hasegawa has always been treated as a delinquent because of the color of his hair. In high school, he meets a girl who seems to be talking to nobody, while claiming that it was her friend. He realizes that she also has no friends, which prompted them both to establish a “Neighbor Club” with the mission of making and gaining new friends. As the club jumpstarts, a few other awkward people tag along, joining in on the club activities of what they think friends should be doing together.
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – Opening Song Theme
3. The World God Only Knows
If the girls in “The World God Only Knows” remember everything they’ve gone through, Keima would have the biggest harem ever! However, that’s not the case. This anime surrounds Keima, the number of girls he’s conquered (making this a true HRM anime), how they forget everything after he conquers them.
If it’s anything that concerns games (especially dating games), nothing can’t be conquered by Katsuragi Keima. That’s all he’s prided himself on his whole life — playing games. Then, one day, a demon girl by the name of Elucia seeks him out in order to get him to help her capture escaped souls that now reside in the void of girls’ hearts. So, much like he does with his dating games, Keima only has to make the girls fall in love with him in order to manifest the souls and capture them in the process — all in real life!
The World God Only Knows – Trailer
2. Date A Live
Is that a love quadrangle I smell here? Or is it even more than that? There’s only one thing left for Shido left to do — capture the hearts of those female spirits and get them to love him through sweet talk and charm. Date A Live actually stays true to its name — it’s a date and everyone lives happily because of it. But, the only one left with all the troubles is Shido himself . . . then again, he’s enjoying it so it’s okay.
In a world frequented by space quakes (destructive earthquakes caused by spirits), humanity has suffered countless of casualties under the whims of these misunderstood spirits. One day, a plan devised by the anti-spirit organization Ratatosk sets into motion. High school boy, Itsuka Shido, becomes part of the plan as his sister, Itsuka Kotori, is actually the head of Ratatosk. Now, since brute force isn’t effective, Ratatosk asks Shido to befriend the spirits and win their hearts over to peaceful resolutions.
Date A Live – Trailer
1. To Love-Ru
Handing the top 1 spot on this list to this one was a no-brainer. After all, when one mentions HRM anime, the first thing that comes to mind (for me and for most) is To Love-Ru! Rito Yuuki is the king of HRM. He’s got a lot of girls around him — even alien ones! Most of the time, it leads to very awkward scenarios which sometimes even escalates further to something unexpected. That’s its own flavor though, and I must say — it’s super effective! To Love-Ru easily knocks all its competition out of the park to stand out as the anime befitting of the HRM Crown of Glory!
Rito Yuuki is struggling with his love life. He can’t seem to muster up the courage to confess to the girl he likes at school. Then, one day, everything took a much more complicated turn. While bathing, a girl named Lala suddenly manifested in the same bathtub he was on and claimed that she was an alien from the planet of Deviluke. To make matters worse, she’s being chased by mysterious people from her planet. Rito jumps in to protect her not knowing that what he’s doing shall soon cause a big misunderstanding later on.