If you happen to be someone who knows me personally (you poor, unfortunate soul) then you’ll know I’m not one of those people who harbours a hate for harem anime (or harem-type shows, such as bishoujo game adaptations.) In fact, when people go on their usual tangents on how harem anime is the cancer killing their hobby, I usually defend it to some degree. However, looking over what other people are watching season by season, I actually rarely partake of these kinds of shows, and I’ve always wondered why.
Designs. Looking back at all the bishoujo game adaptations and harem shows I’ve watched (them numbering very little) it’s almost always been the designs that have hooked me. It’s not always the designs, mind you (you think I’d watch a Key show for the designs? Hahahaha…) but for the most part, that’s what hooks me. And, honestly, a lot of these shows have horrible design work, with few exceptions. The reason I watched Shuffle! in the first place was because I loved the design work and the animation style. The reason I started watching Rosario + Vampire was for the design work. In fact, that’s the only reason why I’m still watching Rosario + Vampire.
So, in the end, I guess I’m not really attracted to the harem situation as a means of entertainment. Looking back, that’s why I skip out on most of these things– because if you’ve seen one harem show, you’ve seen ’em all, and if you can’t hook me from the get go with the designs, then I ain’t watchin’. Of course, I will go back and watch shows people recommend for other reasons, such as the G-Gundam nods in Kimi Aru. And, of course, Shuffle! kept me going with its absolutely brilliant writing and amazing characterization.