20 best harem anime series fans of the genre will know and love
Harem (HRM) is a popular sub-genre of anime in which the main male character is usually surrounded by several female characters who, at times, are potential love interests. This setup is often a recipe for predictable weird situations, which makes the sub-genre excellent for a mix of romance and comedy. The best harem anime series often have captivating storylines and an amazing balance of emotion, comedy, and reflections of reality.
What are the top harem anime series, and what makes them fascinating?
The 20 best harem anime series
Here are some amazingly good harem anime television shows that fans of the genre will know.
20. My First Girlfriend is a Gal (2017)
This series’ plot is centred around Junichi Hashiba, a young boy who feels bad for not having a girlfriend until his classmates make him confess his love for one of his female schoolmates.
Afterwards, Junichi begins attracting the attention of other girls in school, including his childhood friend, Nene.
19. Outbreak Company (2013)
Outbreak Company tells the story of Shinichi Kanou, a boy with vast knowledge of video games, manga, and anime. One day he gets kidnapped and taken to the Eldant Empire, a mystical world full of dwarves, dragons, and elves.
18. Heaven’s Lost Property (2009)
Tomori Sakurai is a quiet boy who often dreams of meeting an angel one day. Then, one night as he watches some strange occurrences in the sky, a mysterious creature falls nearby. Tomoki discovers that the mysterious creature is a humanoid called Ikaros from an unknown world.
17. Infinite Stratos (2011)
This series takes place at a time when the planet’s balance of power has shifted radically following the development of weaponized exoskeletons known as Infinite Stratos. The Stratos can only be controlled by women, a fact that paved the way for female domination in the world.
16. Hent*i Ouji to Warawanai Neko (2013)
Youto Yokodera is a shy boy who struggles with expressing his feelings. He makes a wish on a magical cat statue that gives him the personality traits of several girls in his school.
As everyone involved tries to sort out the mess, they find themselves working together, a scenario that becomes quite comedic given Youto’s shy nature.
15. When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace (2014)
The story revolves around the literature club at Senkō High School. The club is made up of five members, all bestowed with different superpowers. The members’ abilities become a part of their day to day lives as they try to battle other youngsters wielding similar powers.
14. To Love-Ru (2008)
To Love-Ru tells the story of Yuuki, a high school boy who struggles to communicate his feelings to his love interest, Haruna Sairenji. One day, he gets back home only to find an unclothed girl in his bathtub. He later discovers that the girl is a princess and heir to the throne on another planet.
13. Strike the Blood (2013)
Kojou Akatsuki becomes possessed by the spirit of a powerful vampire. He is then placed under the watchful eye of a skilled warrior girl who has instructions to kill him if he becomes dangerous.
12. Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs (2018)
Kogarashi Fuyuzora is a psychic who accidentally got possessed by an evil ghost. Since then, he has carried a huge debt in his soul. One day, he rents a room at the haunted Hot Springs Inn, an establishment in which only beautiful girls reside. His visit marks the beginning of another phase of his life.
11. Haganai: I Don't Have Many Friends (2011)
This series follows Kodaka, a friendless schooler who is mistaken for a violent guy due to his intimidating expression and blond hair. However, his life takes a turn when he comes across a beautiful girl talking to an imaginary person in the classroom.
10. Nagasarete Airantou (2007)
Number ten on the top 10 harem anime series list in Nagasarete Airantou. The show tells the story of Ikuto Touhouin, a 14-year-old enjoying his youth. However, he, unfortunately, gets into a fight with his father, which culminates in him running away aboard a ship. A fierce storm hits the ship during the voyage, and Ikuto gets thrown overboard in the resulting chaos.
He then wakes up on a strange island whose entire population is made up of girls. The girls become obsessively curious about Ikuto since they have never seen a boy in their lives.
9. Date A Live (2013)
Date a Live follows the story of Shidou Itsuka, a young boy with strange powers that allows him to seal the powers of a spirit in his body with a kiss. In Shidou's world, nations are constantly under attack from alien spirits.
Shidou must then step up and defuse the spirit's powers; if not, the threat to humanity persists. However, the protagonist must give the spirits a real kiss and not merely a simple peck. Once successful, the tamed spirits then join the main character's battle against any new invaders.
8. Maken Ki Battling Venus (2011)
This amazing comedy harem anime follows the main character, Takeru Ohyama, a typical, albeit somewhat perverted teenage boy. He joins a new school that, to his surprise, does not require entrance exams. In addition, the new school has just turned co-ed, much to Takeru's joy.
Sadly, his dreams of the perfect school life come to an end when he realises that there is more to the school than meets the eye. It seems that every student has a mystical item known as a Maken that helps them unleash magical abilities.
7. Mayo Chiki! (2011)
Mayo Chiki! tells the story of Kinjirou Sakamachi, a young boy who had to grow resilient to survive the kicks and punches dished out by his mother and sister, both professional wrestlers. However, Sakamachi also developed an abnormal fear of women.
Sakamachi's life changes when a butler assaults him, leaving him unconscious. When he comes to, he encounters a girl named Kanade who promises to cure him of his phobia in exchange for his silence about the assault.
6. Rozario to Banpaia (2008)
This anime series was created by Akihisa Ikeda and loosely translated to Rosario and the Vampire. The main character, Aono, enrols in Youkai Academy, a school in which monsters learn how to coexist with humans peacefully.
It is difficult for a human to survive in the school since, ironically, any human found in the school should be killed. Aono meets a beautiful girl called Moka, who makes him stay in the school despite the lingering danger. What Aono does not know is that Moka is also a monster in human skin.
5. Kakegurui (2017)
Kakegurui is arguably the best harem anime on Netflix. This series' storyline takes place in the Hyakkaou Private Academy, known for its somewhat unorthodox methods for getting students ready for the real world.
At night, the school's corridors turn into gamb*ing dens in which the students learn the art of games of chance. The new student, Yumeko, loves the thrill of gamb*ing, but her passion threatens to expose the evil forces behind the games.
4. Trinity Seven (2014)
Trinity Seven follows Arata Kasuga as he tries to get along with his entirely female troupe. Then, one day, a black sun rises, setting off a phenomenon known as the Collapse Phenomenon. The main character then realises that his cousin Hijiri has gone missing and a mysterious wizard is after him.
3. Nisekoi (2014)
Nisekoi tells the story of Raku, an average high school student who also happens to be the heir of a famous Yakuza family known as the Shuei-gumi. Years ago, Raku had promised a girl that he would not marry anyone else but her.
Since the time of the promise, Raku had never lost the pendant he received from the girl.
2. High School DxD (2012)
This series' plot follows Issei, a man who dies after an unfortunate encounter with a fallen angel. He is then reincarnated by Rias Gremory, a female devil whom he finds in his room, naked. Rias then tells Issei that he is now a devil, just like her, and that she is now his master.
The suspense, captivating storylines and emotions in this series make it one of the best harem anime recommendations of all time.
1. The Familiar of Zero (2006)
What is the number 1 harem anime? The answer is The Familiar of Zero (2006). This action-romance anime tells the story of Louise Françoise, a mage in a mysterious world. She schools at a mage academy called Tristain academy.
Louise has one problem; she cannot cast magic spells correctly. This opens her up to ridicule to the extent of earning her the name 'Louise the Zero.' One day when her class is performing summoning spells, Louise's spell results in an explosion, something everyone assumes to another spell failure.
However, once the smoke clears, a familiar known as Saito Hiraga appears. Louise then turns Saito into his slave, forcing him to do all kinds of things. However, when his hand begins to etch due to the summoning ritual, it bears the mark of another powerful familiar known as Gandalf.
What is reverse harem anime?
Typical harem anime features a male main character surrounded by multiple female characters who are often in love with him. In a reverse harem, a female main character is surrounded by several male characters in love with her.
Reverse harem is not as popular as a conventional harem, although several popular films and television shows are in the sub-genre.
What is the best reverse harem anime?
According to the ReelRundown site, the top reverse harem anime is Ouran High School Host Club. The series' plot revolves around Haruhi, a beautiful young school girl. One day, in an attempt to find some quiet place to study, she stumbles upon the school's host club.
She accidentally breaks one of the club's vases and now has to work for the club until she clears the debt that arose from the breakage.
The best harem anime series are as captivating as other sub-genres of anime. These shows have heartwarming romantic scenes, emotion-packed storylines, intense characters, and the occasional splash of humour.
READ ALSO: 25 best anime openings fans can recognise from the first note
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Some anime shows and films have opening songs that are so good that they outshine the rest of the story in terms of catchiness. The likes of My Dearest from Guilty Crown, Tabi no Tochuu from Spice and Wolf, and A Cruel Angel's Thesis from Neon Genesis Evangelion are some of the best opening tracks.