Anime protagonist being a likable and popular character is quite common these days. However, if you find most of the characters being hopelessly in love with him/her, there’s a high chance you are watching a harem anime. It’s a newly emerged genre that is generally associated with romance, ecchi, or comedy elements. Such anime have been common in the last few years and have already gained quite a fandom of its own.
In case you are still having second thoughts about exploring this genre, let me just assure you that many of them have a really nice story. They are far more than just another ecchi series and may even give butterflies in your stomach. You will often find the protagonist to be a dumb one, and embarrassingly relating to their every stupid move will surely remind you of your high school days as a nerd. Here’s a list of top 10 harem anime that I found interesting and has balanced perfectly will other necessary slice of life and comedy elements.
10. Yuu and the Haunted Hot Springs
If you ever find an exquisite place to live with surprisingly cheap rent, there has to be something fishy about it. It’s the empty moneybag that ultimately makes the call, so don’t be surprised if you end up living in a haunted house. Now, Yuragi-sou’s situation isn’t much different from this. He reluctantly agreed to live in a haunted house only to come across the most beautiful silver-haired angel (ghost) that you can think of.
In case you are looking for a tug of war among beautiful girls centering around the protagonist, Yuu, and the Haunted Hot Springs can be the perfect harem anime for you. Being someone who has read the manga first, I would suggest you do the same for the best experience.
9. The World God Only Knows
Like many ardent otakus, Keima Katsuragi finds 2D girls more lovable than any real-life girl. In fact, he hates to deal with the unpredictable hearts of the three-dimensional girls around him. However, his peaceful life goes upside down when he is tricked into helping a demon to retrieve runaway spirits from hell. In order to do so, he must give up on his virtual world and step into the annoying offline world with real-life problems.
Will Keima, the God of Conquest, be successful in the toughest mission of his life? Will his galge gaming skill be of any use in navigating through the hearts of offline girls? Find that out yourself by watching the anime.
8. The Eden Of Grisaia
The Eden of Grisaia is set right after the end of the previous installment, The Labyrinth of Grisaia. Here, Kazami is held in custody under severe charges of spreading terrorism. Although there is concrete proof against him, Ichigaya is well aware that he didn’t commit any of the crimes.
Well, the girls of the Mihama Academy can’t just let Yuuji be used for political gains either, so they retained him within the bars. This marked the beginning of an epic harem-like story between Yuuji and the others. Little does Yuuji know about the malicious plans that they have for him.
7. Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
I started watching this series without knowing much about it, and the moment I saw the main character recruiting the cutest girls only, I knew it had to be a harem anime. The fact that I didn’t drop the show immediately only proves how invested I was in the story.
Saekano follows the story of another otaku, Tomoya Aki, who brings together his very own development team to create a visual novel game. Call it coincidence or luck, all his recruits are the most beautiful girls of their class, setting up the perfect plot for a harem story around their employer.
6. Ouran High School Host Club
I am guessing that you are tired of dumb male protagonists by now. For a change, I have brought you a reverse harem anime revolving around a clever female protagonist. Well, I didn’t keep it in the list just for variety; rather, I genuinely felt that the anime deserves a position.
‘An accident can change your life.’ Haruhi Fujioka knew how true these words were when she broke a thousand-dollar vase. With no other option left, Haruhi joined the eccentric group disguised as a boy to pay back this enormous debt. Soon, she finds herself surrounded by elaborate cosplays, rich food, and most importantly, a cadre of handsome boys whom she can’t help falling in love with.
Raku Ichigo may seem like another hardworking student but has a far more complicated family background. He is the son of the head of the city’s infamous yakuza gang and is supposed to carry on this dirty business in the future. Nisekoi follows Ichigo’s daily struggle to balance between his high school romance and his family business.
As a kid, Ichigo got a pad-lock-shaped neckless from a mysterious girl, promising to open it together someday. He comes across one after another beautiful girl searching to be that one girl he is destined to meet.
4. High School DxD
No matter how innocent the name may sound, don’t even dare to watch this anime in front of your family. That’s the first warning I must give to those who haven’t heard of it yet. Like most other ecchi protagonists, Issei Hyoudou is a perverted high schooler who does nothing apart from daydreaming about cute girls and peeping on them.
However, his boring life turns into a harem fantasy when he goes out on a date with a fallen angel just to get himself. He wakes up being reincarnated Rias Gremory’s servant and a member of the school’s Occult Research club.
3. The Rising of the Shield Hero
Naofumi is a trapped-in-video-game protagonist who isn’t warmly welcomed by the citizens he must save. His image even grew worse after being falsely accused of serious crimes like rape and slavery. If there wasn’t a debate about Rising of the Shield Hero really being a harem anime or not, I would have placed it in a higher position.
Thankfully, he finds a loyal demi-human, Raphtalia, who is ready to risk his life for him. Throughout the series, Raphtalia tries to make romantic advances towards him, but Naofumi is too braindead to understand any of her hints. He continues to form his own group, with him being the only male in it.
2. Rent a Girlfriend
Japan is a strange place. You can rent cars, homes, parents, children and even a girlfriend. Wait, a GIRLFRIEND? Well, yes. That’s how desperate Kazuya was after being dumped by her girlfriend. Too lucky for him, he ends up hiring the prettiest girlfriend he could think of. A series of crazy coincidences ties them together as if the cupid himself is whispering into Kazuya’s ears that Chizuru is much more than just a rental girlfriend.
Kazuya is basically the indecisive overthinker that we all were once. Instead of directly confessing his strong feelings for her, Kazuya takes up the most messed up path. He keeps coming across other pretty girls, including his ex, and almost all of them envy the fake relationship he shares with Chizuru.
1. Quintessential Quintuplets
Futaro Uesugi is a genius student who lives a lonely life with a fair share of past traumas to deal with. However, his life becomes a lot more happening when he gets hired as a tutor of six identical quintuplets. To his dismay, none of them have the slightest interest in academics.
Gradually, Futaro develops a special connection with each of the six sisters. In a flashforward scene, it is revealed that he will end up marrying one of them. But, who will be that lucky one? We have to wait for the end of the series to find that out.