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Old 2012-10-18, 17:48   Link #121
hyl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You're really grasping at straws here.

Look, the fact is that there's no real evidence that the anime market is against harem anime (or anime with harem anime elements) with strong male leads. There's no evidence whatsoever for that, and there's plenty of evidence to the contrary (not just SAO, but also the Key titles, as I hold both Yuichi and Tomoya to be pretty strong male leads).
Actually there is no definite proof for your claim as well, because there are plenty of harem series with donkan/hetare main characters that end up selling very well.
Like Love hina, Highschool dxd , Infinite stratos, To love-ru and Rosario + Vampire all had very good sales.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Look, if you simply like doormat male leads, then defend that. Don't try to hide behind some misplaced economic argument that completely flies in the face of the success of SAO, Kanon, Clannad, Steins;Gate, and many other anime shows.
The succes of Kanon, Air and Clannad are different. That's mostly because of the huge fanbase which will always support those works , just like the type moon fanbase. Also i would classify these works as romance and not as an harem.

I don't think Steins;Gate was a succes because of it's harem elements but rather it's good story and characters. Otherwise, why did Chaos;Head bomb sales wise.
As for SAO, i have explained that earlier.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Heck, how about the Monogatari Series? You certainly don't get much more harem-esque than that, and the male lead in that is a pretty strong character.
Personally the monogatari series were never truly a harem. For me it was a super natural serie with very well written and witty dialogues combined with a unique shaft type art style and fanservice. After that comes the harem aspects into my mind.

I think you are confusing harem series with series that have harem elements in it. There is clear distinction for me between these 2.
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
That has nothing to do with my point. My point is that we have a clear economic record of harem anime (or harem-esque anime) with strong male leads selling perfectly well (and no TV anime has sold better than the Monogatari series). There's no "risk" either way, so risk aversion is not the issue here.
I meant by risk aversion, simply due to fact that these series are overly produced (easy licensed as well, because they end up picking a popular LN)
with poor- average production values while sometimes they end up selling very well.
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Old 2012-10-18, 17:52   Link #122
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We're arguing taxonomy shades at this point (e.g. harem series vs series with harem elements).

At the heart, we've got a wide spectrum of series with strong and weak leads, the male lead character can be much more complex than just "weak" or "jackass macho" these days. Its probably a mistake to simplify a series just so it can be forced into a slot.
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Old 2012-10-18, 18:24   Link #123
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
We're arguing taxonomy shades at this point (e.g. harem series vs series with harem elements).

At the heart, we've got a wide spectrum of series with strong and weak leads, the male lead character can be much more complex than just "weak" or "jackass macho" these days. Its probably a mistake to simplify a series just so it can be forced into a slot.
Basically it's just a matter of taste like my previous post, and each person have their own preference. The problem is, the OP of this thread made things complicated by headstrongly pointed out his own beliefs without caring other people's tastes.
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Old 2012-10-18, 18:32   Link #124
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Originally Posted by Insane View Post
Basically it's just a matter of taste like my previous post, and each person have their own preference. The problem is, the OP of this thread made things complicated by headstrongly pointed out his own beliefs without caring other people's tastes.
And I think most opinions have now been clearly expressed with explanations and theories provided that address most issues. Now it is only a matter of finding series that work for each person, and for that I recommend the Suggestions sub-forum.

So for now I'm going to lock this thread. If there's a compelling case to re-open it, please let me or any of the rest of the staff know.
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Old 2013-01-02, 01:25   Link #125
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How Genre Savvy should a harem MC be in romance?

As corollary to my "ideal protagonist theory" described here, I also noticed that people seem to dislike MCs who can't decide which haremmette to hook up with in the end.

For me, I think teenagers get a pass from me unless they are mature/experienced enough to handle a boy/girl relationship. Although being in a relationship at a young age does make teens look mature, I subscribe to the idea that just because you're in a relationship doesn't mean you're mature already, although getting out of a failed relationship does help for teens to gain maturity (it just means they already know what they DON'T want in a partner).

See, most teenagers I know of (including me and my old classmates during my younger days) really don't know anything about relationships. Their definition of love is an idealized one they have seen from movies and television. Although I applaud modern media for showing the darker side of romance, I still hear a lot of stories about teens getting heartbroken and teen girls getting pregnant with the boy leaving them (apparently, they are not man enough to shoulder the responsibility).

As for people who say most harem MCs don't deserve their girls, well, different people have different tastes in romantic partners. Just because a girl is beautiful doesn't mean she has the same tastes as everyone else. And just because a guy is an alpha male doesn't mean he can seduce any girl he wants. Although, it's more likely that he can seduce most girls given they aren't prepared for his advances.

Maybe a beautiful girl is more impressed with a simple act of kindness than a grand display of physical strength, maybe another is into physically different guys (I'm looking at you, Kuroyukihime) than the macho ones, or vice versa.

Okay, back to topic, I get it that people hate A LOT of harem MCs, and that only a few are considered likeable. But why? Is it because they are whiny bunch who can't decide who they want to hook up with, or is it simply because they put up with the abuse from their haremmettes (esp. Type A Tsunderes) way too often?

So does anyone here expect TEENAGE PROTAGONISTS to become experts at handling girls their age, EVEN IF IT'S THEIR FIRST TIME GETTING A HAREM? How should they deserve their girls?

Can somebody enlighten me on this?
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Old 2013-01-02, 02:22   Link #126
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I feel like a lot of it stems from the fact that those particular MCs not only have issues with their harems, but they're literally idiots.

The harem situation doesn't really bother me that much when it comes to whether I like a character or not. What I hate is when a character is just plain stupid and oblivious to everything around them. This is something I've seen a lot with male MCs and harems. He somehow is unaware of the very obvious romantic feelings that all of these girls have for him. Now, in real life, taking hints can be a bit hard for some people and I can understand that, but most of the time there aren't even hints so much as straight-up tension.

What's even worse for me is when the male character has little to no redeeming qualities. Most males with harems tend to be the average guy with an average appearance, and sometimes even less. It gets worse when that guy is selfish, or self-centered, or just lacks anything positive in his character. Being clueless also works against those characters as a quality, and frankly I don't understand how the MC being a clueless sap makes him desirable.

Great question!
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Old 2013-01-02, 02:28   Link #127
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Harem in anime is pure fantasy...
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Old 2013-01-02, 02:42   Link #128
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Quote:
So does anyone here expect TEENAGE PROTAGONISTS to become experts at handling girls their age, EVEN IF IT'S THEIR FIRST TIME GETTING A HAREM? How should they deserve their girls?
Frankly, I don't think it's about realism anymore. It doesn't really matter to me as much if a harem MC acts in a realistic manner or not. The thing that matters more is that the character is likable, and as far as I'm concerned, being awkward, cowardly, dim, and bland aren't likable qualities. Yes, they usually have their moments, but these are few and far in-between. I'm probably generalizing here since I don't watch these sorts of shows anymore, so take my words with a grain of salt.

Let's just face it, a harem is an unrealistic situation for an ordinary viewer to begin with. A few more outliers shouldn't be an issue.
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Old 2013-01-02, 02:46   Link #129
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Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
Harem in anime is pure fantasy...
That really depends on what we're talking about. It's exaggerated quite severely in most cases. But a bunch of girls in the same clique liking the same male friend? That happens. It's strange, but it does happen.
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Old 2013-01-02, 02:55   Link #130
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Originally Posted by Traece View Post
That really depends on what we're talking about. It's exaggerated quite severely in most cases. But a bunch of girls in the same clique liking the same male friend? That happens. It's strange, but it does happen.
Probably by liking is different from loving which anime usual shows...
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Old 2013-01-02, 03:05   Link #131
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Probably by liking is different from loving which anime usual shows...
Well, that kind of goes with how exaggerated anime is about things. Like and love are very arbitrary, and especially to a teenager who has no idea what those things truly feel like. Love itself can be very arbitrary. More often than not those rejected "haremettes" would likely disagree with their feelings in retrospect years from then. That certainly is the case with myself where I had serious feelings for a girl repeatedly over non-consecutive years, and then I had a revelation-esque moment where I realized that there really wasn't as much in common between us to make a relationship last.

I suspect that happens with a lot of teenage "love." I've certainly met a lot of people who had that similar moment of realization that the people they "loved" as a teenager weren't actually proper choices. It's part of growing up and realizing what you really want in a person.

Edit: A little extra here about the two. I really don't see much of a distinction. I feel like "like" and "love" are more of a description of your severity of interest in a person, but yet are also interchanged in discussion. "Like" is the non-serious "I have feelings for you." Love is the super-serious "I seriously think about you all the time." You wouldn't exactly walk around saying that you "love" people though. That seriously is lacking in tact.
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Old 2013-01-02, 03:54   Link #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traece View Post
I feel like a lot of it stems from the fact that those particular MCs not only have issues with their harems, but they're literally idiots.

The harem situation doesn't really bother me that much when it comes to whether I like a character or not. What I hate is when a character is just plain stupid and oblivious to everything around them. This is something I've seen a lot with male MCs and harems. He somehow is unaware of the very obvious romantic feelings that all of these girls have for him. Now, in real life, taking hints can be a bit hard for some people and I can understand that, but most of the time there aren't even hints so much as straight-up tension.

What's even worse for me is when the male character has little to no redeeming qualities. Most males with harems tend to be the average guy with an average appearance, and sometimes even less. It gets worse when that guy is selfish, or self-centered, or just lacks anything positive in his character. Being clueless also works against those characters as a quality, and frankly I don't understand how the MC being a clueless sap makes him desirable.

Great question!
Yeah, I really hate it when people expect the MC to know that a girl likes him at a drop of a hat, even if he hasn't been dating girls before.

I get it that harem scenarios are more often than not unrealistic. Although I tend to get the attention of the girls back in high school (academically-inclined students in our country tend to be more outgoing, if not more extroverted, than how the West usually portrays the Nerd archetype), it definitely doesn't make me a harem protagonist.

I had a crush on only one girl all-throughout my high school life. I eventually met more girls as I went my way through college, but they were really nothing like the girls back in high school, probably because college girls here are more mature and less clueless about daily aspects of life, AND romance, than HS girls. They are also less likely to commit mistakes in love, but they still can.

Back to topic, yeah, I do agree that most harem MCs either have no personality (nowadays more and more VNs are adapted into anime, but the problem is most VN MCs tend to be blank slates in terms of personality), or have insanely obnoxious personalities (much like the "player" archetype some people in the West seem to like).

But then again, I still don't get why people are hating on kind-hearted MC's, but really, if they could grow a backbone or something like that, maybe they can be more likeable. Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traece View Post
That really depends on what we're talking about. It's exaggerated quite severely in most cases. But a bunch of girls in the same clique liking the same male friend? That happens. It's strange, but it does happen.
And the guy's name would be Shouta Kazehaya. Just kidding.

But yes, that actually happens.

Okay, so is it right to expect the harem MC to be all genre savvy in romance because the harem scenario is pretty much unrealistic anyway?
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Old 2013-01-02, 05:11   Link #133
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Spoiler:




Can anyone name an MC in a better position to have a harem than there?

Spoiler:
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Old 2013-01-02, 05:18   Link #134
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Three words:

Spoiler:
HOLY SHIT. If the guy isn't made of steel, he would have been dead by now.
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Old 2013-01-02, 06:08   Link #135
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Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
HOLY SHIT. If the guy isn't made of steel, he would have been dead by now.
No. He's one lucky bas**** He should just follow Momo's advice. It's already ok for Lala. Why hesitating!!!
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Old 2013-01-02, 06:11   Link #136
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OMG. What this topic has gone into?

Okay, just kidding. Well, dunno why he hesitates actually. Maybe fear of the unknown?
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Old 2013-01-02, 06:17   Link #137
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Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
OMG. What this topic has gone into?

Okay, just kidding. Well, dunno why he hesitates actually. Maybe fear of the unknown?
His load can't compensate for his harem!

Anyway, using To Love Ru as an example is very unrealistic... hah!
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Old 2013-01-02, 09:58   Link #138
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The problem with most harem MC is that they are very average looking (when they're not hideous), have a bland personality, no spine, and are incredibly dense. There's simply nothing to like about them. Their only redeeming quality is their kindness, but if this was all it took to get a harem, I would have gotten one a long time ago.

They're not disliked because they are harem MCs and don't handle romance well, they are disliked because they are bad characters.
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Old 2013-01-02, 10:23   Link #139
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The problem with most harem MC is that they are very average looking (when they're not hideous), have a bland personality, no spine, and are incredibly dense. There's simply nothing to like about them. Their only redeeming quality is their kindness, but if this was all it took to get a harem, I would have gotten one a long time ago.

They're not disliked because they are harem MCs and don't handle romance well, they are disliked because they are bad characters.
What do guys mean by dense? Sorry to sound like an idiot, but I still don't know what that means, and I'm not in the mood to consult Mr. Google atm.

Okay, I really don't hate harem MC's (it's the genre staple, after all), but what kind of redeeming qualities do you think should they have asides kindness? Maybe intelligence, popularity, athleticism, or something they are good at or something they WANT to be good at?

And BTW, food for thought: "If everyone should be special, then no one is."

If a harem MC should be something no one else isn't in a setting where EVERYONE is something no else isn't, then nobody really has something no else isn't. This setting would be described as "everyone is special".

So yeah, if the MC being TOO NORMAL is the problem, I think the above is the best course of action when writing harem MC's. Make everyone in the setting special.

Then again, it was said that most VN MC's are supposed to represent the average school guy. They were supposed to make players say, "hey, if this guy who is absolutely normal can get the girls, why can't I?"

But still, yes, if you want to make an impression on anyone, put on your best self and do whatever you want to do to the best of your ability.

Sure, my high school days sucked compared to the others, but I had one of the most pleasant memories in that time period. You know, that feeling when you realize "nobody's normal, everyone's special". Even the seemingly most normal person in our class is pretty good at something and has a goal he wants to achieve.

Reading various comments from other forums and blogs, I could see why the harem MC is one of the most hated archetypes in anime. They have absolutely no dreams or goals to speak of except to be able to bone his chosen girl. If one wants to write a harem MC, at least give him a goal aside from getting the girl! Even if it's as simple as "to become a photographer" (Photo Kano, and its MC in anime form looks badass btw).

Hmm... Yeah, I guess I already got that part. I only need more light on the words "dense" and "bland personality".

But thanks, guys. It was so much fun.
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Old 2013-01-02, 10:24   Link #140
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"Genre Savvy" isn't really the word I would use for it. I don't expect a harem MC to realize that he's a harem MC.

I don't expect a harem MC to be a smooth ladies man who picks up on every hint sent his way. I honestly think that people are sometimes too hard on harem MCs when it comes to expecting them to pick up on a girl liking him over just a hint or two. To be fair, there are times when a harem MC's obliviousness reaches facepalm levels, but I think that's the exception more than the rule.

I view indecisiveness in much the same way. In some cases, indecisiveness is very understandable, as the choices that the harem MC has to make aren't always easy. Nonetheless, they are choices that he eventually has to make, so if the anime never has him make them, I usually consider that a massive copout. But I fault the anime itself for that as much as I do the harem MC himself.


So for me, the quality of a harem MC largely depends on whether or not I can "buy into" all of these girls liking him. Here I think VN adaptations have a real edge on LN/manga adaptations, for whatever reason. With most VN adaptations, I can usually see good reasons for the girls liking the harem MC. But yeah, too often it's like what Kanon wrote - The guy might be a nice guy, but he's totally average (if not downright bland) in just about every way. It's fine if such a guy has a girlfriend, but when numerous female peers treat him like the hottest thing since Twilight that can be a bit hard to swallow.
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