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So You Want To / Write a Harem Hero

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So you want to write a harem anime. Yay, you already have a theme for it, as well as the plot. As well as the harem members in question.

But how about the protagonist?

Simply put, the Harem Hero is the main lead in the entire story, oftentimes refer specifically to a male lead in a harem story with action elements (sometimes complete with Battle Harem and/or Magical Girlfriend).


Characterization Tropes come as priority. You can have The Everyman, oftentimes acting as Audience Surrogate. Even then, you must avoid Flat Character at all cost. Simply put, add something that could flesh your character.


Even if your character started out as uninteresting/unlikeable, Character Development is required. For example, a Dirty Coward could become a Cowardly Lion or someone who's supposed to be coward but charges ahead.


There should be a reason why the girls are interested in our hero. The reason might be flimsy, but at the very least, it must be acceptable to the audience.

A Nice Guy attracting a Harem due to kindness is overdone, but note that if applied correctly, Tropes Are Not Bad.

Some show attempt to subvert this by having Hot-Blooded Jerk with a Heart of Gold as the base characteristic, where the kindness element is downplayed but certainly still exists.

In stories specifically about Battle Harem, the Hero might be required by the Action Girls for certain roles (Mission Control, MacGuffin, Kid with the Leash etc). This gives him another role outside the obvious harem plot.



The hero of a Harem Anime typically comes in certain distinct flavors.

  • Type 1: Hero lacks power to fight the threats by himself and lets powerful heroines fight against them. Since the main fighting force for Type 1 characters are heroines, he tends to gain additional, powerful female characters as the story progresses. The hero in type 1 generally acts as a power generator support to the girls. Often, these heroes do not want to accept the reality of their power, and are quite weak willed; frequently they wish that things would go back to the way it was before. A type 1 hero is extremely similar to Pokemon trainers, but with all the Pokemon replaced by girls.

  • Type 2: Hero can fight against threats by himself, holding his own against enemies if required. In this setting, heroines often function as Faux Action Girls, or as True Companions in battle. In reality, there are sub-categories of type 2.
    • Type 2A are the heroes that lack experience and are still somewhat innocent in the new world they are dragged into. They are initially treated as Type 1, but eventually evolve and willing to learn how to fight.
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    • Type 2B are heroes that are strong and are willing to fight from the onset of the series. It should be noted that the harem still plays a major role in fights, but are not a dominating fighting force—as the protagonist is often the strongest character on the team.

Simply put, how much The Hero is involved and how effective he is in fights. However, Made of Iron is a universal trope often carried by The Hero. Whether he's a Muggle, Action Survivor or super-powered individual, the hero must be able to soak a lot of damage (whether serious or comedic).

Potential Subversions

  • In every harem the main lead is usually a guy. Why not change it up and make the main lead a female or, if you really want to go outside the box, transgender?
  • Who says a harem series has to be a romantic one? The group in question could develop into True Companions with little to no hint of romantic desires.
  • In near every harem, the members of said harem are of the opposite gender of the lead (and if there's one of the same gender, it's often played as a joke). But what if the lead is bisexual, demisexual or pansexual, and the Harem is composed from a variety of genders, all of them presented with equal chances?

Example of: