If a "harem" anime features one man surrounded by a number of female love interests, a "reverse harem" features one woman surrounded by a number of male love interests. Prototypical reverse harems: Ouran High School Host Club, La Corda d'Oro, Fushigi Yugi.
The Harem theme in manga and anime has classically involved a single male protagonist who is surrounded by a number of female characters who are vying for his affections. A Reverse Harem is just as the name implies. All the roles are reversed. These stories involve a female protagonist surrounded by a number of males. It's a popular theme in Shoujo and romance novels targeting a female audience.
Notable Anime and Manga Examples
- Alice in the Country of Hearts - It's based on Lewis Carrol's novel and revolves around Alice Liddel who is forced to play a game to escape to the real world after being trapped in the Country of Hearts. She is surrounded by men, some of whom are sadistic or psychotic underneath their cheerful and elegant exterior.
- Boys Over Flowers -
- Fruits Basket -
- Fushigi Yugi - Protagonist Miaka Yuuki is often surrounded by the Suzaku Seven Celestial Warriors that protect her from danger.
- Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time - It's about a young high school girl named Motomiya Akane who finds her friends and herself summoned to another world. In that world, she finds herself worshipped as the dragon priestess whose job is to expel demons. She finds herself protected by 8 handsome men.
- Hiiro no Kakera - A lucky princess finds herself guarded by very handsome gentlemen who all risk their lives for her.
- Angelique -
- La Corda d'Oro - Hino Kahoko is a general education student who wishes to participate in the music contest, and she asks a fairy named Lili to grant her wish. Lili gives Hino a magical violin. As she continues to play, she attracts some fine gentlemen.
- La Storia della Arcana Famiglia - It's about Felicitá who becomes the trophy wife when her father retires and hosts a tournament to find the strongest Mafia member to wed his daughter and take over the family.
- Lotte no Omocha! - It's not a true reverse harem since Astarotte (a succubus) is afraid of men.
- Ouran High School Host Club -
- Pretear -
- Starry Sky -
- Story of Saiunkoku -
- The Wallflower -
- Ugly Duckling's Love Revolution -
- Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000% -
Reverse Harem Archetypes
The main female lead might find guys who do bad things for attention, attractive. They often think that they can tame the beast.
Examples: Blood Dupre,
Bishie/ Pretty Boy
Hot guys or popular guys who are too good for the main female lead.
Examples: Tamaki Suou,
He can be a close friend, a butler, a slave, or a care taker of the female lead during her childhood.
Female Interests (Yuri)
In rare occasions, the main female lead will develop a romantic relationship with another woman.
Example: Queen Vivaldi,
These guys are bold and assertive and can serve as unwanted attention.
Examples: Peter White,
He does not want company or does not know how to interact with other people. Sometimes, they're outcasts shunned by society.
Examples: Nova, Julius Monrey,
People who wear glasses.
Examples: Julius Monrey, Pace,
The female lead might prefer an older and mature gentlemen.
Examples: Dante, Jolly, and Mary Gowland,
Sometimes, two is better than one.
Examples: Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, Kaoru Hitachiin & Hikaru Hitachiin