What is action harem anime?

If you’re not familiar with the term “action-harem” or you don’t have any clue about action harem anime, then fear not! Here is a quick explanation and overview of the popular genre:

How does harem fit into all of this?

So, let’s start out with the question What is the “harem” in action-harem?

It basically means that we have one male character surrounded by a bunch of female characters, who all seek his attention. And don’t worry ladies, there’s also the opposite of harem (1 female; a bunch of males) and it’s called reverse harem. Some examples for normal harem (or reverse harem) are Seitokai no Ichizon, Nisekoi and Kamigami no Asobi.

What comes from action combined with harem?

But now we want to combine the harem genre with the action genre in anime in order to create something epic – and it seems pretty simple at first: just create a harem and add some cool battles in between, right? But, actually, it can be somewhat difficult to distinguish action harem anime with, for example, action romance anime, or at least it can be difficult when you’re not so familiar with both genres. So, let me give you an example to clarify things a little bit more:

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

What would you call the anime Sword Art Online – an action harem anime or an action romance anime? You would probably say…action romance, right? And yes, you’re right. But when you think about it: Kirito – the main character of the anime – actually has more than 2 girls surrounding him throughout the anime (way more than 2 girls), which also means that he has a harem in the series as well! So, technically speaking, we should call it an action harem anime – or at least that’s what one would think at first. But the reason why we don’t do that is because Kirito has one particular love interest in his harem. He only has eyes on Asuna, and the anime clearly seems to put a bigger focus on Kirito and Asuna as a couple rather than Kirito in a harem. And that’s the main reason why we call Sword Art Online an action romance anime rather than an action harem anime.

In summary…

So, this is what you should remember when thinking of the action harem genre: In action harem anime we have one guy (or gal) surrounded by more than a couple of girls (or guys), without one love interest standing out throughout the whole anime and getting more attention from the main character than everyone else. Otherwise, you would consider it an action romance anime like we just did with Sword Art Online. And also, the group of girls or guys the protagonist is surrounded by must have some kind of interest in him, obviously.

Here are some action harem anime.

Some good examples of action harem anime are Akatsuki no Yona or IS: Infinite Stratos, and there are so many more out there!

If you weren’t familiar with the term “action-harem” before reading this post, then I bet you definitely are now! So, now you can finally just jump right into the huge ocean full of awesome and epic action harem anime out there!


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