Nakameguro-kun and harems.

Ah……So much MOE…So, Seitokai no Ichizon ended a month ago, and because of various things I only finished it just now. The ending didn’t do much for me (DON’T JUST GIVE US HINTS OF PLOT AND END THE SERIES, DAMN IT!), but Nakameguro-kun showed up, so it was all good.

But you know what? This series has made me seriously think about the concept of harems. The first harem I ever saw was probably Da capo through an AMV (man, that was a LONG time ago). Seeing the girls pop up left and right in a romantic atmosphere like that made me wonder just how many series the AMV had, since a romantic story can’t possibly involve so many girls and just that one guy (yes, yes, I was ignorant of the ways of the world back then).

What’s a harem anyway? Would THIS count as a harem? Usually, a male character can have a harem even without having romantic relationships with all the girls, right? Wouldn’t that mean that any guy with some female friends would have a harem (that’d be a LOT of harems)? I’m sure that reverse traps count in harems (like in Da capo), but what about normal traps? Scratch that, does bromance count? Can you say that there’s a sizable harem in Full Metal Alchemist? Would eroge leads have harems, even though the vast majority of them are forced to go down the path of a single girl? What about Clannad? In the game he barely interacts with the girls before settling down with one of them, so does he still have a harem? Would you say that Naruto has a harem?

Hmm…Deep questions to ponder on as you gaze into Nakameguro-kun’s sparkly eyes…

P.S.: Was that last scene a parody of Byousoku 5cm?


10 thoughts on “Nakameguro-kun and harems.

  1. Woah, I see your point onee-sama. Actually, now I can’t unsee it…

    “but what about normal traps?”
    Well, there’s already a few visnovs focused on normal traps and can end up with harems IIRC…

    “Scratch that, does bromance count?”
    Yes, because I want to see it D=

    “Would eroge leads have harems, even though the vast majority of them are forced to go down the path of a single girl?”
    Fault still lies in the nature of VN adaptations where they try to squeeze all the routes together, resulting in harems that may not quite have been the original intention. But in those non-harem-intentional games, I’d say no. They’re only adding multi-story-pathing and choices of interest to… satiate the audience.

    “Can you say that there’s a sizable harem in Full Metal Alchemist?”
    Wait wat? (@_@ )

  2. Choux, I don’t believe being surrounded by beautiful people who care about Ed warrants a harem. FMA doesn’t really emphasize harem, and due to its manga nature puts far more emphasis on their search. You can state a harem is a possibility, but unless it’s emphasized even remotely, it doesn’t occur. Also, the number of girls relative to guys isn’t exorbitant. The girls also must possess interest in the guy, and not any other guys. (You said it yourself, bromance would seem more dominant in the FMA case than harem).

    Actually I shouldn’t comment about FMA at all due to not getting around to reading it. However, implication of harem effects most of the time are really obvious.

    It’s ironic how the true nature of visual novels is alternative routes (or doing all the routes to get the true route), even though the general emphasis is the variety of girls. Therefore by default another medium such as anime would easily use them all, and due to the short duration of an anime, would automatically generate a harem just because so many girls are present. The ratio of girls to guys is like 6:1 sometimes.

    Since I noticed you mentioned traps, I think they run a different functionality. Certainly they can be included in a harem, but due to the male effect, they’re not typical members of a harem. Certainly while there are some visual novels that emphasize harem, if the protagonist is straight, there’s a lot of rejection for the trap (highly depends on the game though.) Most likely the ones in a harem are the “18+ content” correlated traps, but those instances wouldn’t be considered harem either since it’s more like a *insert terminology that is 18+ involving more than two people*.

    Some visual novels that specifically emphasize traps don’t really have girls present. Some visual novels that have traps as pure side characters don’t even have H-scenes (and the ones I’m thinking of like Yakumo, Watarase, and Fujimiya are nowhere near harem). Protagonist traps wouldn’t apply on this harem topic, because the protagonist fact takes more priority. Or, even if there was a harem for a protagonist trap, you can’t say the trap is part of the harem.

    Yeah, to me harem either needs to pointed out, or just way too obvious. It’s most easily done on a visual novel since those games emphasize a large variety of girls, so the quantity of female to male is more obvious. It also doesn’t help that almost all visual novels have a romance/love aspect. Most endings in visual novels include a girl (except this is a singular aspect, not a harem aspect).

    Heck even Seitokai no Ichizon, even though it’s topic content includes harem a lot, because it’s more like it’s poking fun at the concept, it itself isn’t really a generic harem. It’s still a harem, but addressed different.

    By generic harem I was implying the one you were mentioning on your post. I still find it funny that it’s most easily identified on visual novel adaptations, where the original game usually emphasizes singular routes, which is anything but harem. Like, in several games, you have to reject or not exert interest or not see girls to clear other girl routes. Rejecting is like, an opposite concept to harem.

    For that same reason an indecisive male lead is also made common on visual novels because the variety of options is indeed great. Most manga and light novel are done with a linear format (and even if there was a past, it’s still linear. Even if there was time travel, it’s still linear!). By linear I mean an adventure that continues to move forward.

    Also, if there were girls in light novels, personally I have found that the cover girl for the first book of a light novel series is usually so dominant that even if a harem effect exists, there’s a dire contrast between the influence of the girl lead and the other girls. This makes it unlikely a harem as well.

    To me a harem is a set of girls who have interest in the male lead, but there is no particular dominance in any of the girls, meaning they’re like, equal, with their own strengths and weaknesses that don’t many any one particular girl dominant (or should I say more relevant, or stand out more).

    The reason why I also don’t think traps really factor into harems is the distinctly different role they present. One of the properties of the trap is to be less relevant story-wise, but more standout in behavior and looks. So even if the trap was included in the harem, it’s either the fact that the trap is male that makes the trap not really in the harem, or the fact that the trap ousts the other beautiful girls by a reasonable margin (in some cases, large, like Watarase), makes them not inclusive in a harem.

    Likewise there will be traps that don’t have a significant outlandish standout, so they too, can exist in harems. I don’t see too many harems that have guys in it. But the concept itself is kind of merged from trends/cliches/fanservice/what-ever-you-call-it.

    It really depends on the source that is pointing it out. In different mediums and stories, the functionality does vary a bit, even if it still implies the same thing [protagonist or one guy surrounded by beautiful women.]

    Speaking of which, it’s also contradictory, as you’ve seen many medium where there is an obtrusively (wrong diction by the way by me), popular man with fangirls everywhere. The fangirls in that instance isn’t a harem (at least to me) even if they all love the man, because they don’t have specific relevance to the guy.

    Yeah, so the girls in the harem need to have something particularly relevant with the guy that they are harem-ing. This usually comes in the form of the protagonist as that said guy, which is why the harem concept to me is so inflated from visual novel adaptations (or the game itself, as first impression usually shows you the variety of pretty girls in the first place by cover art alone, if the lead girl wasn’t that dominant).

    This is also why something like clannad can easily imply a harem, but by no means is actually a harem (despite the fact that the general idea of the girls liking the protag is by all means true). If it was a crappy adaptation, it would have likely been a harem (or just a singular route with arbitrary appearances … or non-appearances by other girls like a certain clannad movie.)

    Yeah, lunch break ended, catch you later.

    • I didn’t think that FMA had any emphasis on the existence of a harem either, but a friend of mine was going on about how it has a wonderful harem of older men so it kinda popped up.

      …Actually, there ARE various instances of traps with full routes and h-scenes, such as in Happiness and Kiss to Maou to Darjeeling, so I wouldn’t say that they can’t count in eroge. However, I have yet to see a situation with a trap lead AND a trap haremette, so I can’t say much about that (I am very surprised something like that hasn’t popped up yet).

      Now that I think about it, the concept of equal influence is really important within a harem (if the guy focuses on just one girl the rest of them will leave, unless it’s an unwanted harem). But then that would mean series like Ai yori aoshi or Love Hina aren’t harems since there’s a main girl, and that can’t be right either…Hmm…

      • You got me there with the Love Hina thing there. But the medium is a manga, which displayed a premise of a harem. Unlike other cases, this was somewhat intentional (unless it really wasn’t …). All harems will have a main/primary girl, but because of the high number of girls to guy ratio, the impression will be harem by default.

        The other factor is that the premise in say, Love Hina, was an all girls living quarters. So a harem is also easier to spawn in an all-girls location if for some reason there’s only one guy there?

        Hm in terms of visual novels, in Happiness, because the protagonist is straight, Watarase wasn’t a harem possibility. If it’s the fandisc, it’s a 1 on 1 route, so there’s no harem factor there . In Kiss to Maou to Darjeeling, certainly there’s a trap, but I didn’t find it harem at all.

        Oh wait, that wasn’t your point. I’ll rephrase then. Originally the trap in Happiness had no route. Due to popularity he had one in the fandisc. The trap in Kiss to Maou to Darjeeling from what I read was actually an additive due to his popularity in the trial version. In both cases it appears neither were intended to contain full routes and H-scenes. Even with that, they’re still not story prominent. The distinct nature of traps being male to me makes them not inclusive in a harem for the simple fact they’re not girls.

        Yeah I haven’t seen trap and trap haremette. You can definitely say you’ve seen a harem for a trap character (kind of, but again not really. Maybe Otoboku kind of counts.), or a trap on trap action (Otopuri). Yeah, no trap and trap haremette, particularly when traps are rare as it is (well the concept isn’t uncommon but the relative frequency is low).

        I was about to say something like Love Hina was harem emphasis first, then specialization. However, saying this is moot because technically almost all visual novels or any medium that has multiple girls initially (due to introductory effect).

        Good points. Uh, I realized I didn’t say anything about Nakameguro-kun. I seek traps only.

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