The evolution of harem anime | The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You

The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You
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The evolution of harem anime | The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You

History of Harem

The first harem anime I watched from start to finish on a CD was love Hina. Animated in the year 2000, it pushed fan service to new limits. I loved it but really when just getting into anime i would have liked any anime. I also remember being obsessed with the Negima remake that came out in 2006. As time passed I drifted away from the harem genre and entries within it came out to less acclaim. I think this is because other genres like battle shonen started to incorporate the key selling points of the harem genre rendering it somewhat  obsolete. This meant that the genre on a whole had to endure some transformation. 100 girlfriends is the latest entry of some acclaim and I feel one of the best in a while, this one is taking me back to my childhood. Hey everyone, welcome to aniprop,let’s get into it. 

100 Girlfriends

When I was younger watching the spectacle of the harem was  entertaining but as you grow and enter the dating market you realize that reality is nothing like Tenshi Muyo or love Hina. Girls dont just all trip over themselves for an average guy who happens to be the protagonist. Women don’t just suddenly throw away their pride to share affections with a guy that engages with unlimited women. The harem anime therefore requires suspension of disbelief , especially for older more worldly viewers. 100 girlfriends address this issue immediately in the first episode. His first two girlfriends Hakari and Karane are at first very resistant to the idea of sharing the protagonist Rentarou. He convinces them with a gesture so well written that it is immediately believable to even the most seasoned anime viewer such as myself. I’m not saying that this makes it realistic because it is not but in the context of the show they addressed the issue somewhat and that adds to the legitimacy of all plot points which unfold there after.  

Having bin a project manager for several years of my career, I can say that Rentarou thinks like one; with each girlfriend being a unique project and the synergy between all the projects being critical to his success He runs his harem like an enterprise. Each girl he integrates into his harem disrupts his carefully crafted balance but he makes calculated adjustments to make sure the new girl is accepted much like a project manager would modify details of a project to get it to work inside the framework of the enterprise.  

That said a harem is still a harem; the very concept of it is impossible. Outside of cult circumstances where societal norms are far removed, A 100 girl harem would be impossible to obtain and sustain. Many of the initial girls are even in Rentarous own high school class.

 Suspension of disbelief aside, what really helps with the believability is the detail in the character design. Each girl is extremely unique in physical appearance and personality. The show runners really flex their talent in this area. At first when i saw this mole under Hakari’s butt i thought it was a smudge on my screen because usually there isn’t this level of detail in harem anime but they make that step. Usually the big boobs trope is in an anime to stimulate young boys, thats still the intention here but the story adds a deeper dimension because Karane shows genuine insecurity about her cup size in comparison to the bustier girlfriends. This allows Rentarou to genuinely reassure her and it makes for an overall good plot point.   

Breaking the template 100 Girlfriends

Also i find it hilarious how the minor characters in the anime have a normal world perspective and find Rentarous interactions with his girlfriends extremely strange and off putting. 100 girlfriends departs from the standard harem formula because the girls are all interesting. I mean like genuinely good characters and not just fan service. Infact Rentarou is the only one dimensional character because he is just a super nice guy. Meanwhile all the girls have goals and schemes. Imagine kaguya sama but instead of 1 scheming girl we get 100. Despite Rentaro’s lack of dimension I give the anime props for directly addressing the social issues that would ordinarily make a traditional harem impossible. Harem by its very nature requires the protagonist to be a relatable self insert. That means that they are usually average in every way. Rentaro is exactly that. But we see him suffer as a result. When one of his girlfriends are taken away by their sensible parents we see him struggle with his lack of ability to fix the situation having no strength, no intellect, no money, no resources etc. All this guy has is determination and he uses it to no end. This anime’s exploration of new harem waters doesn’t end there. I have one word for you…. Milf. that is al. This harem features a literal milf i have nothing deeper to say about that. Just thank you. The inroads into harem subversion doesn’t stop their however. There is more! the anime includes a reverse bath peeping scene where the horny girlfriends attempt to take a look at Rentarou in the shower. 

100 girlfriends is an unusual must watch but any fan of anime will enjoy this one. It’s basically the one piece of Harem.

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