Pointless Debate #26: Most Pointless Harem Lead

The full field for this entry via MAL. Though I did need to add 1 character for an even 64.

I was inspired slightly by another post into doing this. That post was largely about the boring male leads that have become synonymous with anyone who has seen a decent amount of anime series, but it really got me to think about the modern harem anime scene. If there is any genre that is known for boring, pointless leads, it’s harem anime.

Before I get started with eliminating some of the candidates, I must admit I was surprised at how much negative connotation the idea of something being considered harem is. There are a number of series Haruhi, Kanon, and Clannad amongst others that I would consider harem that are not because the mods at MAL do not consider them so. Since I chose to go only from their select pool, I was limited to a large extent, but it was still surprising that I had to add another candidate just to make 64.Here is the full field of 64, in case you really wanted to know how much research went into this post.

Fujioka Haruhi (Ouran High School Host Club) Itou Makoto (School Days) Nishijou Takumi (ChäoS;HEAd) Kousaka Junpei (Nyan Koi!)
Urashima Keitaro (Love Hina) Hiraga Saito (Zero no Tsukaima) Orimura Ichika (IS: Infinite Stratos) Ikuhara Takeya (DearS)
Akuto Sai (Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou) Oyamada Kouta (Kanokon) Kasugano Haruka (Yosuga no Sora) Manaka Junpei (Ichigo 100 %)
Sugisaki Ken (Seitokai no Ichizon) Nagase Junichi (Akane-iro Somaru Saka) Arima Teppei (Princess Lover!) Daichi Kakeru (Akikan!)
Katsuragi Keima (Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai) Kamishiro Maiku (Onegai Twins) Amakawa Yuuto (Omamori Himari) Hino Akiharu (Ladies versus Butlers!)
Ayasaki Hayate (Hayate no Gotoku!) Hirose Takuma (H2O: Footprints in the Sand) Touhouin Ikuto (Nagasarete Airantou) Hyoudou Issei (Highschool DxD)
Uesugi Ren (Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de) Sahashi Minato (Sekirei) Mito Yuuri (Tayutama: Kiss on my Deity) Takanashi Shuusuke (Onii-chan no Koto nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!)
Yuuki Rito (To LOVE-Ru) Hanabishi Kaoru (Ai Yori Aoshi) Nanami Haruka (Uta no Prince Sama) Tsuchimi Rin (Shuffle!)
Hoshino Kazuma (Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi) Naoe Yamato (Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!) Ohyama Takeru (Maken-ki!) Masaki Tenchi (Tenchi Muyo!)
Haneda Takeshi (Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai) Shingo Uryuu (Mashiroiro Symphony: The Color of Lovers) Asakura Junichi (Da Capo) Akutagawa Taketo (R-15)
Kohinata Yuuma (Happiness!) Daijuuji Kurou (Kishin Houkou Demonbane) Leicester Maycraft (Shukufuku no Campanella) Sakurai Yoshiyuki (Da Capo II)
Yoshikawa Haruo (Magikano) Mikuri Tomokazu (Yumeria) Kouno Takaaki (To Heart 2) Minakami Wataru (Sister Princess)
Ooizumi Naoto (Love Love?) Mamiya Otaru (Saber Marionette J) Tono Junna (W: Wish) Hoshino Wataru (Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo)
Yamada Seina (Tenchi Muyo! GXP) Fujii Touya (White Album) Tanaka Tetsuro (Koi Koi
Fujita Hiroyuki (To Heart)
Yotsuga Kazuki (Dual Parallel! Trouble Adventures) Hitose Chitose (Happy Lesson) Ange (Koi Suru Tenshi Angelique) Oriya Ryoma (Kakyuusei 2)
Fujisawa Tomohiro (Lovedol: Lovely Idol) Kuzumi Naoki (Tsuki wa Higashi ni Hi wa Nishi ni ~ Operation Sanctuary)  Shikimori Kazuki (Maburaho)  Hasegawa Kodaka (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)

I felt that reverse harems are essentially the same as harems, even if the genders may be switched around. In my first round of eliminations, I got rid of any characters who were in shows that were unworthy of having been seen by me. If the series is boring on its own, there’s no point in pointing directly at one character for it failing.

Characters eliminated in round 1 indicated by horribly drawn red Xs.

In the next round, I felt that simply having the audacity to choose another character out of their harem to be with exclusively automatically excluded them from consideration as the most pointless harem lead.

Yellow Xs this time. The field is now down to 32.

For the next round of eliminations, I felt that a character being able to hold down a solid, stable job for a living would eliminate them. They can’t be pointless if their character is capable of earning a paycheck in my opinion.

And the field is reduced to 25.

Harem anime leads are pretty much defined by their inability to finish. Despite the number of opportunities presented, they continue to hold on to their virginity even if they do not want to. As a result, I have to eliminate those who actually managed to act on their lust alone.

Down to the last 21. Time to get some help.

At this point, I think I needed some help. I sent out a request through Twitter. First to reach out was Vucub Caquix at the vastly superior Altair and Vega blog, who suggested I just throw a woman into the middle of them. I pretty much assumes that meant that whoever I thought would do anything helpful would be eliminated.

Down to 13, almost there.

Then came Judi (togainunochi in the comments) suggesting getting out a gun. I decided to interpret that as wanting to shoot a character. Any of those characters I would not want to shoot given an opportunity to do so freely would be eliminated.

And then there were 10.

Then, I thought there were a few left that either had a mental illness (dissociative personality or something similar) or had a character of that type in their harem that should be eliminated. There’s no need to be joking when it comes to issues like this.

And then there were 7.

Now that it’s down to 7 candidates, I had to think up a couple more reasons to eliminate some candidates. The first was not having to drink to find them entertaining. That eliminated only To Heart 2‘s Kouno Takaaki. Then came the suffering from other writers of which only Kakeru Daichi of Akikan! was eliminated. That leaves five and I guess this should prove the time to leave it in the hands of my readership to determine who is the most pointless.

14 thoughts on “Pointless Debate #26: Most Pointless Harem Lead”

  1. The guy from Onii-chan no Koto isn’t that bad, he at least can make being the most pathetic piece of trash humanity has ever seen entertaining. He was one of the best characters in that show haha. I voted for Maken-ki, I only saw the first episode but that guy was so worthless.

    1. Perhaps it was a reflection of the fact I had to imbibe alcohol with every penguin, cat or “Onii-chan” that I can’t remember him being entertaining. However, I agree the Maken-ki guy is worthless.

  2. FUCK I am seriously ashamed that I recognised the lead from Love Love?. He’s not actually all that useless though, he did write a whole TV show. I’ve gotta go with the guy from Chaos;Head.

    1. He wrote a whole TV show, and committed a career ending move with his treatment of the cast. Probably why I didn’t think he’d be able to hold down a real job since he has nothing else.

  3. I must confess that I have not seen the vast majority of these series, and in those that I have, the lead male characters kind of blend into each other so I can’t distinguish between them anymore.

    BTW I do agree that Haruhi and specially Clannad are harem anime. Why the mods at MAL don’t think so seem pretty arbitrary to me.

    1. The blending into each other is a definite problem for the genre. Sometimes I struggle to tell the difference between generic Key protagonist and the guy from Love Love. I also left off Index from my list of series that should be considered harem. Those MAL mods should really put away their anti-harem bias and embrace that the shows they like are harem series.

  4. I didn’t vote since I have not seen any of the nominees. I’ve only seen 5 of those in contention. I’m honored tthough that I got a mention in your blog. 🙂

    1. I was looking for help when coming up with this post. I figured a name check was the least I could do for anyone who did help.

    1. That’s a very good point on Wataru. However, it could also be that it also make him not pointless if he is the point of reference for terrible harem leads.

  5. It would have been better if you listed the leads in the order they appear on the image rather than just listing them.
    Anyway, “Congratulations” to the “winner”, Nishijou Takumi.

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