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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 6054
Location: Windsor Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:42 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Yes, but they so often have issues, and it is almost always the boy who fixes them.


Who doesn't have issues?

Also, Writing 101: the protagonist is the one to resolve the conflict. Who wants a main character that sits around and does nothing while everyone else handles whatever problem arises?

But there are also plenty of examples where the guy simply pushes the girl in the right direction and she does the actual problem solving (i.e. inspires her to stand up to her bullies and get them to stop).

dtm42 wrote:
You may want to look over what you said and edit it, because it has no relevancy to what was being discussed. We weren't talking about whether the boy wanted the attention or not but rather if he knew his love interests were in love with him.

Like I said, when there are multiple girls living at your home trying to force-feed you their bento which they got up at 5am to make, then you'd have to be brain-dead not to notice their feelings.


I thought it was relevant. If the girls are too in his face about it he might openly ignore them and their feelings. It may also be the guy has other things on his mind and doesn't have time to worry about the behaviour of others.

But there definitely are plenty of protagonists that are just that stupid.
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Melanchthon



Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 544
Location: Northwest from Here

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:46 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
For comparison's sake, Bollywood films often get subtitled US theatrical releases in a few cities with major Indian populations. Last week the Bollywood film "Barfi!" made $2.5 Million. And even with that name, nobody in Hollywood noticed.


Barfi was good, but it was no Jism 2.
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Quote:
There seems to be a ton of people who vocally loathe harem shows and their terrible jokes and repetitive plots, but nobody seems willing to stand up and say “You know what I absolutely love, derivative fan-service harem anime. That's right, there's nothing I enjoy more than watching boring-as-a-tree-stump-male-lead get punched out by tiny-fiery-tsundere-girl for walking in on her while she was in a state of undress. Because domestic abuse is funny.”


Challenge Accepted. If it makes you feel better I'll stand up and give a spirited defense of the harem genre. You Sturgeon's Law? Ninety percent of everything is crap, right. Well, that implies inversely that ten percent of everything is good. This is true for harem shows as well. Look at Kanon and Clannad. Now I, personally, wouldn't call these harem shows, but they come from the same harem concept of five girls and one man. They both contain many elements from their ero-game roots. Yet both stories are driven by strong writing and character development. Or, take Shuffle, a true harem story that has its weaknesses for sure, but again has strong character development and some intelligence.

But the question really isn't about the good shows, it's why people watch the trashy shows. I would turn the question around and ask why people watch Honey Boo Boo. Sometimes, people just want some mindless entertainment. I like to read good, compelling prose written with a mastery of language. But on Friday night, I'm not reading Tolstoy or Keats, I'm reading fscking Orson Scott Card, because it is more fun. I know it isn't good for me, but sometimes a man needs junk food, and sometimes a brain needs junk entertainment. But I'm not going to say that Ender's Game is better than War and Peace, and I'm not going to say that High School DxD is better than Space Brothers. But there is no point in serious entertainment all the time.
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To me, that's a deal-breaker. The 1-week free trial was nice and all, but I don't need to spend any money on a TV channel that isn't hooked up to my DVR. What if I only wanted to watch Tiger & Bunny or Berserk? I'd have to comb through their schedule list and plan ahead. THIS IS 2012. NO ONE DOES THIS ANYMORE BECAUSE IT IS IRRELEVANT.


My sediments exactly. There are two times a day when I watch anime -- as I am exercising before work, and the hour after the baseball games end but before I go to sleep. If the shows on during those two blocks aren't what I want to watch, well then, why would I pay for it? I think it is the right idea, it's just the wrong execution. Sorry.
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Asterisk-CGY



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 280

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:56 pm Reply with quote
Negima was a harem that went shonen as a paradigm shift by the author. So arguably its both.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 6054
Location: Windsor Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:07 pm Reply with quote
Asterisk-CGY wrote:
Negima was a harem that went shonen as a paradigm shift by the author. So arguably its both.


Why are you and Chagen46 acting like the two things can't co-exist? Laughing A harem is a plot element rather than a genre, so it can go with many things: slice of life, mecha, fantasy, etc.

Negima may have gone shonen action, but it never lost that harem element.
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RyanSaotome



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 4210
Location: Towson, Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:15 pm Reply with quote
I'm surprised anyone would argue Negima is a harem. Its one of the main examples of the harem genre when I think of them. Hell, he goes around getting girls for his harem army by kissing them
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12617
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:19 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
A harem is a plot element rather than a genre


Harem is both a plot element and a genre, just like Romance or Action or Drama.
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ice9



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:21 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:

Yes, but they so often have issues, and it is almost always the boy who fixes them.


This is a legitimate concern, although I think it's more applicable to anime as a whole than just the harem genre. Kimi ni Todoke is a particularly bad offender. I think a trope that's even more widespread and even more worrying is when a strong female character goes weak-kneed around the guy she likes. Ah! My Goddess and Itazura na Kiss are two examples that jump to mind (and cover a pretty big swath of anime genres). Itazura na Kiss in particular bugs me because that is clearly an abusive relationship, and yet it's a shoujo touchstone.

On the other hand, Love Hina, an infamous harem series, features a strong female lead with a fully developed personality who doesn't need the male protagonist: Naru. Interestingly, she also genuinely doesn't like Keitaro for half the series - not tsundere dislike, mind you - and ultimately gets won over by him being a genuinely nice guy (with a personality more complex than just being a nice guy). The manga culminates with both Keitaro and Naru leading productive lives and getting married - not a first kiss or confession, but the mutual dedication to each other. The anime wimps out on that ending (more or less leaving him the whole harem) and plays up the accidental peeping/boob grabbing "jokes" a lot, so you'd be forgiven for not giving it as much credit.

Personally, I tend to look at romance series in general as those that are either concerned with romance or with sex (or the rare series that deals with both). Most Key adaptations (i.e. Clannad) are all about romance and the manipulation of the audience's emotions. Whereas shows like Heaven's Lost Property or Highschool DxD are all about sex and titillation. All of those shows are harem shows, but go for very different effects.

For what it's worth, one of the few series I can think of that actually deals with both sex and romance is Sweet Blue Flowers (Aoi Hana). It also throws in serious questions about coming out as a lesbian - setting it apart from the Strawberry Panic style of yuri as well.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 6054
Location: Windsor Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:25 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Harem is both a plot element and a genre, just like Romance or Action or Drama.


I'd say, at best, it's a sub-genre of the Romance genre. Saying 'Harem' and 'Romance' are separate things is completely erroneous.
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Fencedude5609



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 5085

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:28 pm Reply with quote
CrownKlown wrote:
I don't see how harems are any worst than the show that pander to deluded yuri fans with scenarios that have zero chance of happening in real life. I think it was even on ANN or another site where it was even admitted as such that the core audience of these unrealistic fluff arent even lesbians in the first place. Yet these shows get way over praised on here.


This is weirdly random, do you have specific examples in mind?
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12617
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:41 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
I'd say, at best, it's a sub-genre of the Romance genre. Saying 'Harem' and 'Romance' are separate things is completely erroneous.


You have a point. Sub-genre it is then.
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Mikeski



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:22 pm Reply with quote
At least we harem fans are laughing at entirely fictitious losers going about their scripted lives (and I include both the haremettes and the animate turnip in the middle in that assessment.) Only the voices are "real people".

We could be watching something like the Big Bang Theory (live actors portraying losers) or Real Housewives of Wherever (real people being losers). Or Jerry Springer, for that matter.

I've been assured by several people that all of those shows are high-flippin-larious. I tried BBT and failed to find it funny (too many 140-IQ people doing 70-IQ things whenever the script required it), and I won't touch reality TV with a ten-foot remote. But I don't feel the need to hang out on their forums to tell their fans how deluded and sexist/racist/nerdist they are. [/xkcd386]
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12617
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:02 am Reply with quote
Mikeski wrote:
But I don't feel the need to hang out on their forums to tell their fans how deluded and sexist/racist/nerdist they are. [/xkcd386]


Oh you poor thing, thinking that ANN is a dedicated anti-Harem site. There's plenty of people on the Forums here who not only really enjoy Harem but publicly admit it. Heck, some people basically revel in it. Stop with the persecution complex.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 6054
Location: Windsor Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:39 am Reply with quote
The persecution complex is not completely unfounded, mind you. There are people who are unecessarily cruel to certain shows and their fanbases. Telling only one side to knock it off isn't going to help anything.
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stardf29



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:40 am Reply with quote
Interesting that "reverse harems", a.k.a. girl-surrounded-by-lots-of-guys, doesn't come up a lot in criticisms of harem anime, compared to the standard guy-surrounded-by-girls scenario. I guess they would use some different tropes due to the different genders and the fact that they tend to be shoujo/josei, but they are still "harems"...
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Mikeski



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:44 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
But I don't feel the need to hang out on their forums to tell their fans how deluded and sexist/racist/nerdist they are. [/xkcd386]


Oh you poor thing, thinking that ANN is a dedicated anti-Harem site. There's plenty of people on the Forums here who not only really enjoy Harem but publicly admit it. Heck, some people basically revel in it. Stop with the persecution complex.

If the pointer to xkcd didn't make it clear, that was just a wee little bit tongue-in-cheek. At my age, what other people think about me really doesn't affect me all that much. Just pointing out the silliness of applying moral values to anyone's taste in televised entertainment.
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