A reverse harem is when a female is the main target of affection, and the others who are in love with her are men. While a harem is usually a man being surrounded by beautiful women, a reverse harem is a woman being surrounded by handsome men. But just like a typical harem anime, reverse harems can be riddled with tropes and cliches.
From a dense heroine to a Mary Sue archetype, fans hate a lot of tropes and cliches. However, with the hate certain tropes receive from fandoms, some are never going to be overwritten. Here are the tropes fans hate, and the ones that are not disappearing any time soon.
10 HATE: The Uninteresting Heroine
Harems, as well as reverse harems, love to employ this trope. This is usually either three choices: a beautiful heroine who does not know how attractive she is, a Plain Jane, or a self-insert type of character who has nothing interesting going on in her life.
While she may have parents, a best friend, and go to school, nothing stands out about the heroine. This is because the focus of a reverse harem is not how attractive the girl is, but how unbelievably handsome the men are in her harem.
9 NEVER DISAPPEARING: The Trope-Filled Harem
Tropes are always going to be employed in reverse harems, as they are the basis that gives the characters something lovable about them.
The most used trope for the gaggle of men surrounding the heroine is as follows; the main man, the tsundere, the kuudere, the flirt, and the cute one. This trope is color-coded most of the time, so it is easier to understand which character fulfills which trope.
8 HATE: The “Oblivious To Love” Type
No matter how much the characters in the heroine’s harem attempt to show they love her, or how evident their love is for her, the heroine will never realize it unless she is flat-out told.
This mostly gives fans headaches and has them screaming at their screens, for it is a trope that is played most of the time. Even if the heroine’s best friend notices the love the men have for the heroine in their heart, she will never notice until the end.
7 NEVER DISAPPEARING: The Popular Harem
The heroine’s harem coincidentally happens to contain the most popular boys in school, but somehow the heroine either is unaware of their existence or ends up meeting the group’s leader.
This set-up has been used in reverse harems since the beginning of the genre and is one that fans cannot get enough of, so there is no doubt it is sticking along in the long haul.
6 HATE: The Mary Sue
A Mary Sue is a perfect female character; one who has no flaws is insanely beautiful and is beloved by everyone. While there may be loads of uninteresting heroines in reverse harem anime, fans have more of a problem with the latter.
Because a Mary Sue has no imperfections, fans cannot relate to the character, and thus tend to think it’s superficial how the harem falls in love with the heroine.
5 NEVER DISAPPEARING: The Villainess
A villainess is a female character who intentionally spreads ill-will and is vital to the plot. While there may be some throw-away villainesses, they mostly appear to have some obsession with the harem the heroine has created and goes out of her way to tear them apart.
Whether that be murder, bullying, or scaring the heroine so severely, she does not want to return. Because reverse harems need a type of conflict and romantic drama is one of the easiest fallbacks, this will always be a trope.
4 HATE: The Sexual Harassment
This is one of the more serious tropes that is more of a cultural difference than anything else. However, it is one that must disappear from reverse harems and has slowly been getting reworked. Even if the heroine is against something, her opinion does not matter, and she is continuously pushed.
The most noticeable occurrence of this is in Diabolik Lovers and the psychical and mental abuse the heroine, Yui Komori, receives from a group of sadistic vampires.
3 NEVER DISAPPEARING: The High School Setting
A high school setting never gets old in reverse harems. A high school is a perfect place for romance and love triangles, as these are where they occur them most.
This trope is never going away in reverse harem anime as well as others, for the youthfulness of the characters and target audience would most relate to this setting.
2 HATE: The Damsel In Distress
A damsel in distress is even worse than a self-insert heroine or a Mary Sue, for she cannot do anything without the help of a man. She gets entangled in traps, is easily decided, and cannot think for herself because she was written to easily fall in love with a harem character of her choice.
This is one of the main reasons fans cannot like the heroine of Amnesia, whose is ironically named, Heroine.
1 NEVER DISAPPEARING: The Dense Heroine
No matter how much fans may despise it, having a dense heroine is what makes a lot of the plots of reverse harems happen. This applies to harem anime as well. This applies to harem anime as well. No matter how much the heroine’s friends tell her or the harem drops hints, and sometimes even blatant lines, the heroine will not understand that the person loves her.
This is to make the competition between the other harem members more drama-filled and will not disappear anytime soon.
Though the reverse harem anime might switch things up a bit, there are certain tropes that are practically immortal when it comes to the genre.