I remember purchasing an anime VHS that had caught my eye while browsing the local video store back in middle school. It was called Tenchi Muyo!, and according to the description, it was about space pirates, legendary scientists, and intergalactic police, which all sounded pretty cool.
When I actually watched it, though, I was surprised to find that all of the above characters were beautiful young women. Not only that, but they all end up living with the main character, a normal young Japanese boy, and develop romantic feelings for him. Comedic antics were involved. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind and, while there were action sequences, most of it was incredibly embarrassing to watch with my family around.
You see, until then, I thought Japanese anime was all about epic battles, giant robots and, on Saturday mornings on Kids’ WB!, Pokemon. For kids living in the US during the late 1990s, maybe it was.
But it seems that for the past several years in Japan, the whole “uninspired male protagonist stuck in love triangle with beautiful women” convention— a genre now known as “harem“— and similar racy themes like the borderline incestuous “little sister” genre, have become the face of the medium.
Well it looks like Japan has finally had enough: according to a survey conducted on Anime One in which nearly 6000 people replied, anime fans are sick of harem, little sister, and other bland and erotic subgenres.
Take a look at the survey in full below:
■ What Genre of Anime Are You Starting to Grow Tired Of?
1. Harem anime – (691 votes)
2. Imouto, or little sister anime – (516 votes)
4. Anime based on erotic games – (349 votes)
5. Anime where all the male characters are beautiful – (327 votes)
6. Battle anime based on Shounen Jump! manga – (318 votes)
6. Anime about school club activities – (318 votes)
8. Anime about awkward adolescents with inflated egos (chuunibyo) – (311 votes)
We didn’t even know some of those were genres…
The problem, as many Japanese netizens point out, is that even if we are sick of ridiculous romance and gratuitous cleavage representing most of our modern anime, they’ll only stop making them when people stop watching them. And anyone who’s run a search in Google Images with the Safe Search function off knows how difficult it is to not give your undivided attention to anything else when there are boobs on the screen.
You can see the rest of the survey, which goes down to #23. Military-themed anime where the only characters are girls, here.
Source: Anime One