Fret not, Urd and Skald - the audience likes you anyway.
A Subtrope of the Harem Genre
, a Romantic Comedy
with one male protagonist, one female Love Interest
, and a bunch of female side characters who also happen to be in love with the protagonist.
In these stories, the bigger emphasis is usually on the "romantic" part of Romantic Comedy
, with the relationship building between the main Official Couple
, and the side characters are only there for the viewer
to like them, and maybe as a Romantic False Lead
, to keep some drama between the main characters.
Certain character types like the Hot Teacher
or the Ojou
are likely to be members of this, as a straight romantic story with them at the center probably wouldn't work at all, or at least it would invite too many unusual plot points.
One of the causes for this set-up might be if it is the adaptation of a Visual Novel
, where every girl got the focus of attention in her own route, but only one route got an adaptation.
Contrast with Balanced Harem
, where several girls have equal prominence during the story.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Twilight: Bella has Eric, Tyler, Mike, and Jacob all in love with her, but her One True Love is Edward. Not even Jacob giving her a Forceful Kiss in a later book could seriously challenge this.
- A Gender Flipped example from the Mahabharata: Draupadi is married to 5 men at once (the Pandavas brothers), and though she does care for all of them one way or another, Arjuna is her favorite. This is because Arjuna is the incarnation of the god Indra, and Draupadi is the reincarnation of his wife Indrani. This comes back to bite her in the ass later, because she collapses on the mountain climb to Heaven as a result of "playing favorites."
- In the Javanese version (heavily influenced by the spread of Islam), Draupadi is married only to Yuddhisthra, but collapses on the mountain because she has feelings for Arjuna.
- Despite "the ability to pursue multiple love interests" being the main drawing point of nearly all Dating Sims and romance Visual Novels, this trope can still occur in them if the game is clearly biased in favor of a specific love interest.
- One example of the above is Sweet Pool in which Tetsuo, Makoto, and Zenya are all interested in Youji and have endings with him, but Tetsuo gets the most development and backstory with Youji, four endings with him including the game's True End and all his endings manage to have at least a bittersweet tinge to them, whereas Makoto and Zenya each get only one ending with Youji that can't qualify as anything other than a Guro Horrific Ending by any reasonable standard.