Top 25 Best Harem Anime
Sometimes just one romance isn’t enough. But when you go harem, you have to go big – and why not do it with our list of Top 25 Best Harem Anime? Whether you’re into guys or girls, playful fun or something a bit serious, there are some hidden gems here for you to discover. Don’t forget to prepare your battle stations for arguing about who the best girl is!
It was a tough choice, but in the end, our top harem anime is a reverse harem romantic comedy. Nothing quite beats Ouran's take on highschool romance; it combines the light-hearted antics and slight fanservice of the usual harem anime but always brings its unique touch to relationships and how people interact with each other. It's a harem anime truly anyone can enjoy, and that's why it's on top.
Haruhi is an androgynous girl whose smarts lands her a scholarship for an elite, affluent high school. Except she doesn't get very far into her school life before she racks up a debt that's too big for her to pay. After being practically forced into the school's male host club to pay off the debt, Haruhi has to dress up as a guy and play along to please the ladies that frequent the club.
While Ouran might ultimately be gunning for a canon romance, it still flirts with its core cast of guys, throwing Haruka in with the boy of the week. What makes Ouran more than a comedy or harem show is its mature moments, showing that each romantic option is more than their tropes might make them seem.
Harem level: One romantically oblivious girl with six main guys (and many more supporting characters, if you're into that). Clear canon romance towards the end.
Why it made the list: Ouran hides some mature, thoughtful moments behind veils of harems and high-class high school romance. The surprising insights are the gems in this series but is still very enjoyable for the shoujo show it is.
Watch if you like: Crossdressing; men; meaningful moments mixed with fun; character-focused episodes; cast of colourful characters; backstory; rich people.
Any harem lead wannabe knows that in order to get hordes of girls chasing after you, you have to master the first step: dating 2D. And of a handful of dating sim-themed anime, The World God Only Knows clears our route on this list for top harem anime.
When you look for a harem anime protagonist, you can’t ignore thousands of hours of experience with dating sims. That’s exactly how Keima Katsuragi is found and pulled into a master plan to “capture” real life girls who have escaped from hell. He must make various girls fall in love with him or it’s game over.
Just like most titles on this list, The World God Only Knows is strong on the comedy front. But even if you come for the cute girls and comedy, you stay for the animation – a surprisingly great aspect that makes the series all-round great.
Harem level: Dating sim king and four cute girl targets. The aim of the game is to win hearts but, for now, Keima’s heart lies with 2D.
Why it made the list: The World God Only Knows isn’t the only harem anime where dating sim antics are king, but it is just about the funniest, with a bit of humour for all types. It introduces you to a range of different girls, fuelling the Best Girl Wars, while keeping things interesting every few episodes.
Watch if you like: Dating sims; demons; 2D; watching the sequel; reading the manga; dating girls; contracts; confident protagonists; comedy; the supernatural; romance; story arcs.
Haganai, as this anime is lovingly called, looks like the melting pot of the most popular romantic interests in anime. Can’t choose between the childhood friend, hot blonde, reverse trap, the younger sister or that nun from Index? Not to worry! Haganai puts all the popular romantic trope characters in one room and makes you fight for their supremacy.
Kodaka, a not-so-mysterious transfer student, enters a new year of school. Because his hair is a shade lighter than everyone else, students all think he’s going to beat them up when really he just wants friends. When he stumbles across a crazy girl talking to her imaginary friend, the two establish the Neighbours Club, a place where Kodaka can be oblivious about his growing harem as the two lead romantic interests spend most of the series fighting each other.
While Haganai looks like a melting pot for more anime waifus, it has enough awareness to make it more than an average harem anime. It plays with itself and jabs at the genre, but when it gets down to it, its serious moments hit just as hard as its light-hearted comedy.
Harem level: One guy who just can’t commit to any of the six girls around him. Show teases a main romance but gets cold feet, letting the other girls take over at points.
Why it made the list: While Haganai delights in showing how nerdy and isolated the main cast is, its main focus is always on character interaction, which makes most of the show pretty damn charming. The romance aspect is always somewhere in the background, but for the most part this is a comedic harem anime with some playful intimate moments.
Watch if you like: Comedy; harems; a variety of characters; clueless male leads; little girls; girls who fight each other; high school; clubs; fantasies; meat; maids; socially awkward teenagers; a second season.
Nearing the top of this list is an anime that by all appearances seems like the most mindless of anime rom-coms. But beyond the set-up and near-naked girls is a story that can hit home for a lot of people who struggled to find their purpose nearing graduation, and a mature story that develops it with care.
Sorata is a guy who loves pussy. Cats, that is. He feels so bad for abandoned cats that he adopts all of them, forcing him to live in a special dorm that allows pets. Unfortunately, it’s also where they stick all the “special” students, meaning his daily life is filled with quirky teens. When art prodigy Shiina Mashiro moves in as well, Sorata is put on “Mashiro duty” and must help Shiina pretty much dress herself while he wonders how she can excel at every single creative thing she does.
Sakurasou is an amazing anime for a lot of reasons and, besides the great art and nice pacing, it comes down to it being about life just as much as it is about romance. Sure, the protagonist is put in a lot of situations you wouldn’t think twice of in a harem anime, but it has a lot of respect for itself, its characters and its message.
Harem level: One average guy with two talented girls. A few others flirt with him, but it’s down to the two female leads to fight it out.
Why it made the list: It takes a while to realise that Sakurasou is actually a harem anime. Most of what the series goes into is so far from the popular image of “harem” that it’s honestly remarkable. Not only does the series tone down the boobs-in-your-face attitude, it takes the main character on an arc that is both mature and thoughtful, with plenty of mistakes and failures to make it terribly realistic.
Watch if you like: Games; high school; career plans; girls; cats; dorm houses; art; genius vs average person; comedy; drama; character flaws; personal growth; character dynamics.
If there’s one thing that can solve the age-old question of how to make everyone win, it’s to make an anime series that covers romancing different girls in separate arcs! Now nobody will have to decide who to reject or wo to just slightly ignore so you don’t have to deal with it.
After he is stood up by a date, high schooler Junichi retreats from his social life; it’s the worst thing that could ever happen to him. When he comes across high school senior Haruka, he begins to fall in love and opens his world once more. This leads to a series of separate stories about different girls and romances that help Junichi and his girl grow through the trials of love and high school.
Let’s not look too carefully at what makes a harem anime now. The core here is that Amagami SS lets the protagonist romance multiple girls, with each girl getting her fair share of the spotlight. And in the end, it’s a lot more than many other anime adaptions and just as sweet.
Harem level: One guy and six girls. Each girl gets a romance in her own arc, but don’t hold your breath if you were hoping for them to all pile on in a main timeline.
Why it made the list: Anime based on dating sims usually stick to the “true route” but Amagami proves that every girl is the best girl by animating all of the routes. Amagami SS is a buffet of romance and sweet moments with a range of girls where there’s sure to be one or more that you like.
Watch if you like: Romance; school setting; cute girls; best girl wars; omnibuses; everyone winning; character designs.
I’ve not met a single person who hasn’t said that their lives were changed thanks to Clannad. Almost everyone goes into it expecting the same old school slice of life/romance and comes out of it with a house flooded in tears.
The story starts with Tomoya during his final year of high school. Due to various family problems, Tomoya’s outlook on life is pretty bleak and he doesn’t really take part in life, let alone school life. All this changes when he meets Nagisa, a sickly older girl who has lost her friends to graduation. Tomoya decides that since he barely does anything with his life, he’ll try to make Nagisa’s a bit brighter. Then he kind of turns into a therapist for a bunch of girls with problems.
While the power of an anime shouldn’t be in how many boxes of tissues it makes people go through, Clannad can make you sob at a simple tune. Its characters (yet again) are what makes the show and it’s hard not to see a bit of yourself in Tomoya.
Harem level: Yes, this anime does go with the “true route” from the VN, but that doesn’t mean Tomoya doesn’t have his options. There are other OVAs that expand on his potential relationships with other girls.
Why it made the list: Clannad is surprisingly moving and beautiful, or perhaps not so surprisingly if you know of KEY’s track record for making people sob over everything. Tomoya’s character resonates with a lot of people and his journey can make you see the more important things in life. This harem turns to a relationship but its time with friends and other girls is not lost.
Watch if you like: Crying; sobbing; uplifting shows; character-centred arcs; changing your life; reading the visual novel; watching the side story.
Bakemonogatari sets out to prove that watching high schoolers talk to each other for half an hour can be incredibly interesting. With a mix of typography, word play, silhouettes and abstract settings, this anime could probably be considered a form of art but is definitely entertaining.
Araragi is just your average teenager who survived a vampire attack. Perhaps due to his supernatural scent, he begins to attract various girls who are similarly affected by oddities. Thanks to his hero complex and recent experience, Araragi decides to help these people by pretty much letting them kill him repeatedly.
The show is a huge success in making general conversations fun, most in part due to the comedic banter and word play. Everything is abstract enough to feel like an attempt at art but is more playful than straight-up what-the-fuck.
Harem level: One guy gets to flirt with five girls. While he commits to a girlfriend almost off the bat, there’s still feelings up in the air in this series.
Why it made the list: Despite the artistic approach to dialogue, Bakemonogatari can be pretty action-packed too and you’re in for a treat if you’re hankering for some supernatural fight scenes.
Watch if you like: Folk tales or mythology; stylistic presentations; listening; typography; clear episode arcs; supernatural fight scenes.
Next on this list is something of a classic shoujo series: Fruits Basket. Using the cornerstones of any young girl’s romantic dreams – fluffy animals, lots of cute boys, school and sparkles – the series explores an interesting supernatural quirk in an otherwise normal setting.
Touru is a character who shows that if you have your entire family die, you too can live in a house with the most popular pretty boys in school. After moving in and settling down, Touru discovers a huge family secret – if any of the boys are hugged by a girl, they’ll turn into cute little animals. Despite how adorable it sounds, it’s a source of drama for the family, and Touru needs to work together with the two boys to show them that affection isn’t so bad.
Fruits Basket feels a lot like Ouran High School Host Club but differs in that it more readily jumps into the dramatic family history. As the slice of life story progresses, so too does Touru’s efforts to get the two main boys to open up to affection.
Harem level: One girl and two main guys. The story continues in the manga, but you can still feel like progress is made.
Why it made the list: Fruits Basket’s supernatural-made-adorable element is a pretty big draw, but the series is quite heart-warming and touching at the same time (yes, even as a harem series). It’s cute and innocent fun with a touch of drama. At the end of the day, it’s great to cuddle up with a stuffed toy and watch into the night.
Watch if you like: Animals; chibi art style; girl meets boy(s); school romance; drama; comedy; slice of life series; the supernatural; pretty boys; shoujo; slow paced series.
Dating sims = life makes a return with Date A Live, a parody show which takes harem anime tropes for a spin as it absorbs ridiculous premises and outrageous powers for maximum comedy.
Powerful girls are invading Earth and threatening to destroy everything and they can only be stopped by one thing… love! Shido is tasked with romancing and dating various extremely dangerous girls so that the world can live another day. While Shido’s dates are lined up by a huge organisation made to support him, he trains his love skills with dating sims. Truly a new superhero has been born.
Date A Live’s premise stands for itself, but its particular brand of comedy means you’ll either love it or hate it. But if you do love it, it’s the perfect show to watch for mindless fun and comedy.
Harem level: Maximum.
Why it made the list: Date A Live is a pleasant parody of basically everything else on this list. It’s something you either love or hate, but if you come to love it then it’s a charming series you’ll likely not forget.
Watch if you like: Parody; clocks; super powers; dating sims; comedy; cute girls; extremes; powerful girls; mecha; science fiction; watching the second season; short series.
As one of the few reverse harem anime on this list, UtaPri has to be the most charming. With plenty of excuses to have the main character rub up against one of many hot guys, it’s also great for… well, its hot guys.
Haruka has dreams of being a songwriter. In order to even have a chance of it coming true, she enrols in a prestigious performing arts school. Little does she know that the entire school consists of handsome single guys who are out to show her a good time. In this world of aggressively hot men, who will Haruka end up with?
UtaPri is a colourful and musical anime that is just as much a joy to watch for the story as it is for the hordes of men. Whether you’re in it for the art style, the music or the romance, UtaPri has something for everyone.
Harem level: One girl and six handsome guys. While there’s guys aplenty, the show is a little for younger audiences and doesn’t step strongly in any direction.
Why it made the list: UtaPri is a genuinely enjoyable anime that works on the romance front as much as it does on the music front. It’s a short, cute comedy show that’s great with the shoujo crowd and even better for gawking at all the guys.
Watch if you like: Singing; idols; handsome guys; reverse harems; colours; comedy; light-hearted anime; watching the second season; shoujo; music.
The longest series on this list is also one that inspired countless other anime series, though more of the fantasy variety more than the harem kind. So while the premise might sound very familiar, Fushigi Yuugi sure spread far.
During a visit to the national library, Miaka and her best friend are swallowed by a book. It’s no big deal until Miaka is made priestess of a giant phoenix, tasked with gathering warriors. But things get complicated when Miaka’s best friend is taken on the opposing team, made priestess of a giant dragon and pitted against Miaka in a battle that spans way longer than it needs to.
Fushigi Yuugi might be large-scale, but the battles and conflict all come down to relationships. It definitely feels like a shoujo show and might turn some people off because of it, but when you delve into the series, it really has a little of something for everyone.
Harem level: One girl tasked with finding seven warriors. But the fun doesn’t stop there, there’s a handsome enemy and a whole cast more of characters. Fushigi Yuugi does dare to choose one, though.
Why it made the list: Fushigi Yuugi is the kind of show that can appeal to everyone, with a mix of actual plot and respectful romance. The battles are more personal and are more meaningful due to their ties with relationships. The series also resolves its romantic plot by the end.
Watch if you like: Fantasy; adventure; drama; historical settings; older anime; long series; books; priestesses; quests; shoujo; slow series; reverse harem.
Here’s a blast from the past for Toonami watchers – Tenchi Muyo aired over 20 years ago. It’s been a long time for the series, but it’s still a classic harem anime from the time before constant panties in your face.
Tenchi is a young kid who just keeps getting into trouble. One day, he releases a space pirate who was sealed in a cave for 700 years. No big deal. From there, a series of events occur to draw four more girls to him, each with their own problems and circumstances. With all these pretty girls around, Tenchi discovers his heritage and some hidden powers because why not, really?
Tenchi Muyo is a classic harem anime that pretty much helped establish what harem anime is today. The years have taken their toll on this series but it still stands strong.
Harem level: One guy and five girls. Everyone has their own story and there’s a lot to respect about everyone. That said, don’t expect that to mean progress gets made.
Why it made the list: Tenchi Muyo is described by some as the definitive harem anime and, well, it kind of is. Very few series come to mind where everyone is treated with respect and where the romantic plot isn’t the be all and end all of the series. Time hasn’t been the best to this series, but if this was a decade ago, Tenchi Muyo would be our number one in this list.
Watch if you like: Toonami; older anime; space; action; comedy; watching everything else; science fiction; shounen; parody.
There’s no better way to get the guys than becoming some kind of demi-god. And that’s what Kamisama Hajimemashita is all about.
After her dad skips town so that plot can happen without parental influence, our protagonist Nanami is left to fend for herself, now completely homeless. When she saves a strange man, he offers to take her in, but his house is a shrine and actually he’s a very handsome god, how about that. That’s how Nanami is thrown into the world of handsome deities, familiars and spirits, all competing for her affection.
Kamisama Hajimemashita has a lovely mix of romance and comedy, but doesn’t forget that the best part is good-looking guys who know their place. Overall, it’s cute and romantic (and all the better if you like foxes).
Harem level: One girl and, let’s face it, one true love in her heart.
Why it made the list: Handsome guys all the way with this anime. Kamisama Hajimemashita is strong on traditional shoujo romance, with a bit of fantasy thrown in and a touch of attitude. While the romance is strong, it doesn’t make its characters perfect, but the show still comes out charming.
Watch if you like: Fox gods; reverse harems; youkai; shrines; familiars; deities; romance; short series.
Harem anime could always use a little sisterly love, so why not add a dash of it with Onegai Twins, the next anime on our list.
Orphan Maiku lives by himself. But, feeling like he’s missing half of himself, he moves into a house where he suspects he used to live with his twin. Everything goes as usual until his twin magically appears on his doorstep, but things are made complicated when someone else shows up and claims the same thing. Now Maiku has to find out which one of the girls is his real twin in an attempt to avoid potential incest.
Please Twins is a kind of side story to Please Teacher (or Onegai Teacher) but, apart from some crossovers, it’s perfectly fine to watch for the incest harem you secretly want it to be.
Harem level: One guy and one twin. Who is the real twin? We’re hoping for triplets.
Why it made the list: Besides filling our potential incest quota, Onegai Twins is an interesting short anime that offers a puzzle with its harem antics. The main question opens up after time and we get some nice moments between brother and potential sister(s), with a relationship actually forming by the end.
Watch if you like: Twins; short series; romance; drama; living together; older art style; orphans; puzzles.
No matter how old you are, one of the many ways to gather a harem is to become a teacher. Though, because of various laws, this can only happen in stories now, which is exactly what Negima does.
Negi is only ten years old when he becomes qualified enough to take the Master Wizard test. But his final task is to become an English teacher at an all-girls high school, basically making him the youngest teacher ever, but who cares about qualifications. Negi’s first day goes pretty badly and he becomes hated by one particular student, but like it or not, this is a harem anime and she has to co-operate. Especially when evil wizards need to be fought.
Negima really shows its age in its art style. But even though it’s old, it’s still good and the story is still unique ten years on. Negima is more a show to watch for lighthearted magical shenanigans, but it’s still a harem anime in there.
Harem level: One ten-year-old and his class of weird and wacky students.
Why it made the list: Negima is a surprising harem anime where the protagonist isn’t even a teen yet, but that doesn’t stop it from being a cute anime with magical shenanigans in a school setting.
Watch if you like: All-girls schools; magic; shounen; shenanigans; romance; the supernatural; long series; wizards.
Ben-to's premise is ridiculous meets desperate, but where lesser shows would squander a pretty neat idea, Ben-to indulges in the ridiculousness to make a memorable show (with plenty of harem elements, of course).
Discounted food is no joke in Ben-to. In fact, the discounts on delicious boxed lunches are so sought after that people from Japan over do battle for the right to eat it. It's in this world that Sato stumbles and discovers that if he wants to eat the good stuff, he needs to wise up to the way of the "wolves" who fight for food. It's a good thing he has a good teacher to show him the ropes.
Ben-to is an outrageous premise packaged in cool fighting scenes and plenty of harem appeal. While the series likes to play up the comedic aspect, there's some strong sexual undertones. It's not unlike your standard harem anime fare with a little spice. And good music.
Harem level: One guy and six girls. Direct competition means he can't be too friendly with his options, but he's too Teenage Anime Protagonist to know much better.
Why it made the list: With fighting, food, pretty girls and a strong soundtrack, Ben-to leaves a lasting impression. Whether it's the outrageous premise that hooks you or the execution that gives you everything you're hoping for, it doesn't matter – Ben-to kicks its way into your heart and stays there for good. On the harem side, it has plenty of girls to offer and some nice light-hearted fanservice.
Watch if you like: Fighting scenes; ridiculous premises; a varied soundtrack; nicknames and clubs; an average-sized cast of characters; not taking things seriously; action.
Arriving at the pseudo-yuri part of this list is Otoboku, the closest thing we can get to a yuri harem anime but still far from the mark.
In some parallel to Maria Holic, the protagonist of Otoboku is sent to an all-girls school and tasked with hiding his gender while he goes about normal school life. The normal school life comes easier than expected and, thanks to protagonist Mizuho’s self-control not to perv on everyone he sees, the story settles into some nice slice of life episodes.
Otoboku is an interesting anime in that it’s not all about the main guy sneaking a peek up a few skirts, or even frantically having to hide who he is. Everything is fairly relaxed and in the end makes for a nice show you can just sit back and enjoy for a few hours.
Harem level: One cross-dressing guy enlightens a small class of girls.
Why it made the list: Otoboku is the closest thing we have to a yuri harem and makes it onto the list for being an anime that doesn’t go into full pervert overdrive. It takes a slice of life approach to what most other shows would use as ecchi bait.
Watch if you like: Cross-dressing; all girls high schools; hiding; drinking tea; fixing ribbons; short series; comedy; pseudo-yuri; slice of life.
Angels and demons once again invade the average romantic comedy anime to make it a harem show for a slightly older audience. Shuffle! is one of the few shows where the protagonist brings a few things to the story, which already puts it leagues above the rest.
In a world where gods, demons and humans live together, protagonist Rin one day discovers that he lives between heaven and hell – that is, his neighbours are literally gods and demons. Rin’s life with just his upperclassman is stressful enough, but now he has to deal with higher beings fawning over him at any given moment. What a tough life!
Shuffle! is already a stand-out anime due to the protagonist contributing in some way to the story, but it still delivers touching romance, nice comedy and plenty of fanservice. It’s not fanservice all the way though and pulls out a plot late-game to make the story go somewhere different.
Harem level: One guy fawned over by five girls. Things take a turn towards the middle and lean toward a true route but the protagonist generally finds it hard to commit.
Why it made the list: Shuffle!, another harem anime based off a game, might seem like another romcom but brings a few unique aspects to the series to make it stand out against the rest. It changes direction halfway through the show to explore a different kind of story but still comes out a little average.
Watch if you like: Gods; demons; neighbours; fated meetings; dramatic turns; twists; fanservice; ecchi; slice of life.
The not entirely unexpected next entry on our list is the anime all about MMO antics and online intrigue. While Sword Art Online is all about action and games, it doesn't forget about its harem side.
The year is 2022 and science has advanced to the point where virtual reality games can be controlled with your thoughts. Kirito, an avid gamer, manages to get a copy of the biggest virtual reality MMO to date: Sword Art Online. It's only when he logs in that he realises something is terribly wrong with the game; players can't log out and death in the game equals death in real life. The 10,000 players trapped in the game are issued a challenge: beat the game's 100-floor tower of enemies or live forever in fear of death.
It might be hard to see where the harem elements come into play here, but with an ass-kicking protagonist and plenty of girls trapped in the MMO, Sword Art Online manages to tie Kirito together with a number of cute girls ready to fawn over him.
Harem level: One guy and five girls. While Kirito's main girl is Asuna, it doesn't stop him from being surrounded by a small group of other girls who are generally interested in him.
Why it made the list: Sword Art Online takes the concept of .Hack//Sign and pumps it with action and a bit of a more modern setting. The harem aspects of the series aren't always at the forefront, but they're never entirely forgotten.
Watch if you like: Playing MMOs; different kinds of heroes; the .Hack series; cousins; steady relationships; a reasonably-sized cast of characters; protagonist-exclusive powers; fantastical settings.
Ecchi and harem anime go hand-in-hand, so it’s not surprising that our next entry on our Top 25 Best Harem Anime list is Highschool DxD, the show where it’s not uncommon for everyone to be naked in a scene or several.
Issei, an average high school guy who thinks about hot girls all the time, is killed by his very first girlfriend. To make things worse (or better?) he’s resurrected and recruited into an army of devils where he has to fight against angels. Though in this battle between “good” and “evil”, there’s always room for fanservice.
Highschool DxD has a pretty clear story that doesn’t get in the way of its true goal of girls, girls, girls. It also mixes in a fair amount of comedy and drama, just to keep things fresh.
Harem level: One guy and five main girls. Sadly it’s business as usual with this harem anime.
Why it made the list: Highschool DxD amps up the ecchiness but doesn’t forget that at heart it’s a mindless fun harem show. There’s an alright plot if you need a good set-up, but in the end it keeps its goal firmly in its grope.
Watch if you like: Breasts; panties; devils; fanservice; mindeless fun; watching the OVAs; angels and devils; ecchi anime.
For those who want harem but are starved for action, look no further, Majikoi is here. Except, like, only sometimes.
Kawakami City never really let the samurai spirit die. Having a samurai ancestor and a strong fighting spirit are so highly prized that basically the whole status quo revolves around it, as it should. There we have Yamato and his friends, a group of fighters who have known each other since childhood. When two new girls join the group, bumping its harem level to five thirsty girls, things are thrown off balance and the martial arts-style anime falls into harem territory.
While the whole set-up runs on team battles and cool weapons, it’s still a slice of life anime at heart. The setting may have taken on some cool samurai elements and the leads are more than capable of crushing bricks with their hands, but at the core it’s fun days with friends at school.
Harem level: Five girls fight over one guy. While the girls are high power and the guys know enough to tag along, the anime being based on a visual novel means you’re not going to see a definite path.
Why it made the list: Majikoi brings some much needed action to the harem anime front, but sadly it still relies heavily on its slice of life episodes. It’s still enjoyable and funny for these moments, but comes off a bit like most other shows, just with a different setting.
Watch if you like: Samurai; slice of life; team tactics; lots of girls; more than one guy; capable protagonists; comedy; romance; action; fanservice.
Winning this list’s award for most misleading title is not an anime where all-out harem wars rage on between maids and butlers; it’s just a show about a guy being a butler at a school.
Akiharu is an orphan living with his uncle. After realizing the sad truths of the world, he decides to enter a free boarding school as a butler, surely because it’s free and not because there’s girls everywhere. But because Akiharu looks like he could mug someone, he scares off most of the girls in the school. Then romcom happens.
Ladies versus Butlers is an entertaining romcom harem that does everything in its genre well. It has a whole host of various characters and does comedy and fanservice as expected. The only reason it falls short on this list is it simply doesn’t stand out much at all.
Harem level: One guy and basically the entire school. No new territory being tread here.
Why it made the list: Ladies versus Butlers hits the mark for every harem convention and trope and does things well, with an ample side of breasts and fanservice. It’s perfect for watching something short and fun, but doesn’t stand out as anything very unique.
Watch if you like: Butlers; high school setting; romance; comedy; fanservice; archetypes; short series; breasts; misunderstandings.
For many, this will be a short trip to the nostalgic days of watching anime dubs on TV, but for others Love Hina might be the older stupid fun harem anime you’re looking for.
Young Keitaro makes a promise that one day he’ll meet a girl again when they go to university. Unfortunately, Keitaro grows up to be an idiot and fails his entrance exams. In an effort to not be hopelessly stupid, he moves to his grandmother’s hotel, but because this is a harem anime, he ends up being dorm mother to a group of high school girls.
Love Hina isn’t exactly a harem anime that pushes boundaries, but it does fit into this list nicely as an almost timeless harem classic. It has a particular kind of humour that can be hit or miss, but underneath there’s a sweet romantic story and, as always, lots of girls.
Harem level: One clueless guy and six girls. No new territory here; expect lots of shenanigans but leanings towards a “true route” with no real ground made.
Why it made the list: Love Hina is such a harem classic that it couldn’t be left out of this list. Whether you first saw it dubbed on TV or whether you’re looking for an older harem anime, you can’t pass one of the classics.
Watch if you like: Promises; dormitories; silly fun; old anime humour; misunderstandings; flying; lots of girls; romance.
Next on our list is one of the few reverse harems that dares to portray a darker kind of relationship, almost literally. There’s no shortage of black in this anime.
There’s something unusual about Yui. It could be that she can see spirits, but really it’s just because she willfully lives in a giant house with six handsome vampire brothers. Instead of a sparkly, rose-coloured romance, Yui is tossed between the guys as a sack of blood and entertainment, but maybe she has a masochistic side.
Diabolik Lovers isn’t everyone’s cup of blood, but it’s a different take on the usual bubbly romance. The short episodes mean not everything gets the time it should but it’s definitely a unique watch on its own.
Harem level: One meek girl and six vampires. All of the guys are all over Yui, but their definition of romance varies.
Why it made the list: Diabolik Lovers is the biggest “love or hate” anime on this list, but it makes the cut for being damn interesting. Whether you’re in it for the new take on vampire love or you secretly (or not so secretly) want to see the protagonist pushed down a lot, Diabolik Lovers sure offers something a little more forceful.
Watch if you like: Vampires; nighttime; serious business; short series; short episodes; domination; reverse harem; blood; abuse.
On the number 25 spot on our list is To LOVE-Ru, a standard harem/ecchi anime that makes you wish you had your own frequently naked alien to get close to.
Rito is the kind of wuss who fits right into a harem anime and To LOVE-Ru isn’t any different. When alien-like Lala (surprisingly not from Lala Land) appears naked out of nowhere, Rito’s life is changed as he now has to deal with Lala’s antics as she tries to find a reason to stay on Earth. This of course means he also turns into a clumsy girl magnet.
To LOVE-Ru is more of a series to watch for mindless fun and some exciting scenes more than a moving plot or touching romance, and sometimes that’s just what you need. It falls to our last place on the list for doing nothing new but still being an enjoyable series all-round.
Harem level: Clueless protagonist and a group of clumsy girls. Standard harem fare.
Why it made the list: To LOVE-Ru doesn’t bring anything new to harem series, but it’s a fairly long series that delivers exactly what you expect it to. It’s heavy on the ecchi moments and mixes in some comedy for good measure to make what amounts to just a bunch of silly fun.
Watch if you like: Succubus tails; reading the manga; watching the OVAs; clueless protagonists; episodic series; shenanigans; fanservice; ecchi anime; panties.