Top Ten Problems with Harem Anime

Not all items apply to every harem anime. Most of these items are about female harems, not reverse harems. Some of these items can apply to other anime genres, or anime in general.

Thanks to Longesthorn for the idea.
The Top Ten
1 The lead is either really perverted or dense

Dense in the form of tripping on thin air hard enough to fly across the room and land on a girl, usually the tsundere because she somehow happens to be right there, and his hand conveniently lands on her breasts, somehow under her shirt and bra, and instead of immediately getting up when he realizes it he squeezes her chest wile mouthing some lame apology then gets blasted into space.

When the lead is unloveable like this, the harem ends up feeling 100% forced as it feels like there's no proper reason for the girls to choose to crowd around him instead of a cute, interesting, smart and caring guy. Dumb characters also are NOT funny when they screw stuff up in every...damn...episode...

2 Little plot development
3 Little character development

Many of the girls feel like they've just been put there for the sake of the harem or shallow 'fanservice' scenes. They're still people with just as many (if not more) thoughts and feelings as the highly developed lead. Also if there was more focus on their relationships with characters other than the main one, there would be much more of a natural sense of community - a social circle that would completely fall apart without the lead is a huge sign of poor writing.

4 Having a harem seems forced
5 Women are objectified

One thing to have sexy scenes another if your female characters are little more than blow up dolls.

6 The characters are little more than character archetypes
7 It often doesn't end in a harem

The indecisiveness of the lead that could eventually lose him all the girls can get very annoying - viewers just get left with the feeling that they watched 50 episodes all for nothing. Especially if the anime is going to be long, the events of it must be engaging and deep in progression and resolution for it to be worth watching and to encourage viewers to empathise more with the characters.

8 Most of the real plot developments don't come until around the end

A sign of laziness. When this is ever the case, the anime will mainly consist of filler and minor developments and leave the more major developments to the end. It's a poor attempt at trying to pace the "plot" out.

AKA the time most of the audience are already too bored to carry on watching.

9 Constant use of cliches
10 Predictable ecchi scenes
The Contenders
11 Too much filler
12 The lead is seen as a pervert even if he isn't perverted
13 Anticlimactic arcs
14 Little/Big sister has a crush on her big/little brother
15 Many episodes are episodic
16 Harem Protagonist is a Nice Guy (TM)

MC is often only ever nice to pretty girls. Being nice to someone you find attractive is common sense not a sign of the goodness of your heart. Acting nice and polite is not even uncommon or a big deal. Nice Guy (TM) is not even doing anything special.

17 Harem MC is completely unremarkable

There is nothing about the MC that stands out. Guys like that are a dime in a dozen. It is incomprehensible and unbelievable that their love interests have never met someone like the MC before.

18 Other male characters are non-existent, perverted, stupid or scumbags
19 Bland characters
20 The male character gets beat up for things not his fault
21 Makes people think all anime are harem

Not the best of reasons - a bunch of uninformed people throwing such stereotypes around despite many other types of anime existing is not a problem with harem anime itself.

I'm not sure about that. Surely, everyone knows Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z, for instance, aren't harems?

22 Predetermined soulmate of main character

There is always one predetermined girl the lead is suppose to be with instead of the one who he "should" be with.

23 Obvious fanservice
24 The obvious female pervert doesn't get hit

Always kills me how there is an obvious girl in the group that's blatantly pervy either towards the male lead or any of the other female characters, and all she gets is weird looks while the male character gets hit for possibly thinking about something perverted when he sees it, never mind him being just as put off by the scene.

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