Many harem anime series I’ve come across tend to follow a familiar pattern. It typically involves a central male character being pursued by a group of girls, each embodying various anime character archetypes like tsundere, kuudere, yandere, deredere, and more.
These shows often portray different body stereotypes, ranging from women with larger breasts to those with flat chests or childlike appearances. Despite these recurring themes, something about this genre still captivates my interest.
The term “harem” originates from Arabic and represents a subgenre in light novels, manga, anime, and video games. In these narratives, the protagonist is surrounded by two or more potential partners, and the relationships can range from romantic to more intimate.
What sets the best harem protagonists apart is their unique qualities. Whether it’s a distinctive personality, the ability to form a harem that stands out from other series, or the skill to maintain harmony among all their harem members, these protagonists bring a special charm to the genre.
Best Harem Anime Protagonists
10. Fuutarou Uesugi (The Quintessential Quintuplets)
Fuutarou Uesugi leads in the harem anime “5-toubun no Hanayome” or “The Quintessential Quintuplets.” As a student at Asahiyama High School, he shares a small apartment with his father and younger sister.
Known for being serious and diligent, Fuutarou tutors the Nakano quintuplets to contribute to his family’s finances. The twist comes when it’s revealed that he eventually marries one of the quintuplets in the future, leaving the audience curious about the mystery bride’s identity.
9. Nozomi Itoshiki (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei)
“Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei” is a funny comedy series that pokes fun at different parts of Japanese life and culture, especially the current trends. While some cultural aspects might be tricky for those unfamiliar, it’s still entertaining.
The main character, Nozomu Itoshiki, is a middle school teacher who’s extremely pessimistic. Every little setback gets him down, and he’s even prone to attempting suicide.
Interestingly, his group of admirers, often referred to as a “harem,” is made up mostly of his students, and for some reason, they are predominantly girls.
8. Yuuji Kazami (Grisaia)
Yuuji Kazami is a new student at Mihama Academy, which is quite unique—it only has the principal and five other students, all girls.
As Yuuji gets to know his fellow students, he discovers this peculiar academy’s mysteries. He learns more about the truth behind the small group of students who occupy it.
7. Kirito (Sword Art Online)
Sword Art Online falls into the isekai video game genre and includes harem elements.
In the virtual realm, Kirito is married to Asuna and officially dating in real life. However, his charismatic virtual presence attracts girls’ attention from various virtual realities.
6. Arata Kasuga (Trinity Seven)
Arata Kasuga becomes a wizard and encounters the Trinity Seven, a group of the seven most powerful female magicians, to become a Magus. His primary motive is to save his cousin, Hijiri, who has disappeared.
In Trinity Seven, Arata forms strong connections with the members of his harem, each representing a different type of anime character.
While Arata does have a harem, he remains focused on his main objective. Enrolling in the wizard academy, he continues his quest to bring back Hijiri.
5. Shidou Itsuka (Date A Live)
Shidou Itsuka from Date A Live is a student at Raizen High School with a unique ability—he can seal spirits by kissing them. It’s quite an advantageous power for a harem protagonist.
In this harem anime, he works for Ratatoski, saving spirits to prevent them from uncontrollably re-possessing their powers.
As expected, Shidou has a harem of spirits. His job involves sealing spirits, essentially forming a harem.
Date A Live has three seasons, and Shidou’s harem includes nine girls, including his tsundere sister, Kotori. With the series ongoing, Shidou continues to expand his harem by sealing more spirits.
4. Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket)
Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket stands out on this list as the sole female protagonist. In the realm of reverse harems, Tohru is surrounded by members of the Sohma family.
The impulsive Kyo and the cool and charming Yuki engage in a constant rivalry for Tohru’s affections. However, Tohru ensures she shows care and concern for both of them.
In her kind and compassionate nature, Tohru extends her attention to everyone, connecting with each member of her unique harem.
3. Katarina Claes (Otome Game no Hametsu Flag)
In the world of reverse harem anime, Tohru Honda finds a match in charm only with Katarina. Not only are the handsome men captivated, but even her female friends are drawn in by her irresistible allure.
2. Issei Hyoudou (High School DxD)
Issei Hyoudou, aspiring to be the Harem King, fits perfectly as the harem anime protagonist in High School DxD. After being killed on a date, Issei gets revived as a demon by Rias Gremory and becomes his servant. Now a devil, Issei forms a harem within the Gremory family.
Despite occasional arguments, everyone in the harem gets along well and accepts Issei. However, it’s evident that Issei shows favoritism towards Rias.
Issei often finds himself in awkward situations with demons, angels, and most of the female characters in the series.
1. Koyomi Araragi (Monogatari)
Completing the list as the best protagonist in harem anime is Koyomi Araragi from the series Monogatari. Similar to many harem protagonists, Araragi has a touch of being a pervert. However, what sets him apart is the genuine love he receives from his harem members.
Accepted by everyone and even pursued by the tsundere Hitagi Senjougahara, Araragi’s interactions with each character feel authentic and tailored to their unique personalities.
He ensures that everyone he interacts with knows he’s there for them, whether helping with their supernatural or psychological problems or simply assisting with everyday tasks like brushing their teeth.
So, that wraps up the harem anime protagonist lineup.