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UPDATED: 10/14/2014

INTRO TO REVERSE HAREM AND SITE

Happy Anniversary (originally posted on September 26, 2008)

Wee it's been a year already!

Holy Grail

My most favorite when I started watching animes was "Fushigi Yugi". Over the years I kept on looking for animes similar to "Fushigi Yugi" but I couldn't find one because I didn't know what I was looking for and my only resource then were AXN-Asia and Animax. On January 2007 (9 years after Fushigi Yugi), I picked a random title from Memento's site. I have no idea what the anime is about. All I care is that I want to watch an anime that is short and has an ending and it was "Ouran High School Host Club". Kirimi's statement is a phenomenal line that will later produce 180 posts, almost 50,000 hits and counting. It also paved the way for me into reading mangas and watching Asian dramas. I couldn't also believe that the only drama that I've watched prior to Ouran which is "Meteor Garden" is also a reverse harem. There's something about a girl and a love dodecagon of swoon-worthy bishies.


Big Bang Theory

I've always wondered who coined the word 'reverse harem'. Hands down "Ouran" popularized the buzzword in 2006. But the contenders of the most popular cookie-cut reverse harem with one girl surounded by three or more guys are Yuu Waatase's "Fushigi Yugi "and Yoko Kamio's "Hana Yori Dango". Both mangas debuted in 1992. "Fushigi Yuugi " in May, while "Hana Yori Dango" in October. For the anime versions FY first ran in 1995, while HYD aired a year later. I think these two officially set the trend in stone and no earlier anime may equal the cult following and franchise these two earned.

I'm also thinking that reverse harems probably evolved (aside from branching out from harem) from stories wherein girls have multiple suitors or love interests spread out in different timeline like "Candy Candy" (1975) and "Georgie" (1981). They're kinda like grandmothers of reverse harems. As per Mangaupdates, the oldest reverse harem titles we got are "Soredemo Chikyuu wa Mawatteru" (1984), "Fusuma Land 4.5" (1984), "Akogare Boukensha" (1985), "Momoka Typhoon" (1987) and "Hanasakeru Seishounen" (1987). They should also add Hiatari Ryoukou! (1980.) We can probabaly call them pioneers of reverse harem. For otome games, the first generally acknowledged is "Angelique" which was first released in 1994.

Devices

Statistically there are a lot of girls over boys, but all it takes is some common cliches and creative storytelling for a reverse harem recipe. There's the guardians, all-boy clubs, girls disguised as a boy or the only girl student in an all boy-school, stepbrothers, girl in an all-boy dorm or house and more. In some cases, they don't use these devices and guys with no connection or relation to each other fall for our heroine. Of course, the guys will represent a character stereotype as further explained by Kirimi like the prince type, twincest etc. More bishies, more variety.

Ze Future

I decided to create my first and only fansite after I've seen all the reverse harem animes listed in wikipedia (They deleted it BTW but here's how the list looks like) and I couldn't find a resource. After each manga or drama that I've finished I tell to myself oh well it's time to start reading the manga versions of the animes but up to this day I've never done it yet. Because every day I discover some old and new titles. I didn't know that it had been around for such a long time and it must be getting more popular as we learn new projects. In case you've noticed I havn't started any otome review yet. I really appreciate those who frequently visit this site, who recommended titles and who shared their thoughts since I first started this. Keep on supporting this site and hopefully the animation studios will also realize that we need more reverse harems!

P.S.

Why Reverse Harem Garden? Hmm.. Let's see "Boys over Flowers", "For you in Full Blossom," "Meteor Garden", "The Wallflower"...The uber-abundance of roses in "Ouran High School Host Club" and sakuras in "Saiunkoku Monogatari". And to sum this all up here's a cheesy haiku that I wrote in the banner before:

red rosebud blossoms
bishonens by the dozens
love blooms in eden

9/27/2013 updated oldest reverse harem