As someone who had gradually degraded to being a cold, elitist jerk, I have criticized a lot of anime, and dropped a lot more others. I particularly get very harsh when watching something that I have expectations from, which, obviously, lowers the amount of entertainment that I get from said shows. To give a recent example, I actually had some expectations from the disaster that is Black Rock Shooter, much to my detriment. Of course, the opposite is also true in the case of Daily Lives of High School Boys, which is in retrospect, a pretty run off the mill comedy anime. But I found myself enjoying it quite a lot as I wasn’t expecting anything good to come from it at all.
For the majority of the anime blogging community, anime like Love Hina, To LOVE Ru and Highschool DxD are pretty much considered garbage. These are fanservicey harem anime, the bane of the elitist. There would be at least one of these every season, and they would always be berated even before they start airing.
Of course, I also went through my fair share of these fanservicey harem anime. Some of the first few anime that I finished were: Mahou Sensei Negima!, School Days, Clannad (the only non fanservicey anime here), Girls Bravo, Shuffle!, Zero no Tsukaima and Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. Aside from the fact that I just admitted that I fail as an elitist, I also admit that these anime are pretty much my foundations to be the anime blogger that I am today.
So what point am I trying to make here? Pretty simple, really. We need these kinds of “bad” anime to exist. Believe it or not, harem anime has a tendency to bring in viewers. In my experience with talking to people in high school and in university who currently watch anime, none of them haven’t seen at least one harem anime. Yes, even the girls.
My roommate in the university dorm really got into anime after watching Ichigo 100%. A friend from elementary school got interested in anime that is not called Naruto or Bleach after seeing Chobits. A female friend of mine admits to have enjoyed To LOVE Ru, of all things. As an example of people in the blogosphere who had harem anime start their fandom would be Scamp, who says that Love Hina was his gateway anime, and even has it in his Top 30. Then you have yours truly, who hated anime as a whole, until I watched Mahou Sensei Negima!. I’m sure there are many more of you out there that have been heavily influenced in one way or another by a harem anime for better or worse.
I’m not saying that harem anime is inherently good or bad, but we cannot deny that there is a pretty large audience for them. Whether we want to see that as good or bad, in the end, it all boils down to the person watching. Will he/she expand his/her horizons to watch the more substantial anime out there or get stuck with wish-fulfillment fantasies? It’s simply a matter of choice.
As an aside, I have said earlier that I would be going on a hiatus, but fortunately, the problems I was having here in real life got resolved pretty easily, so yes, I can participate with my fellow AOIA bloggers in the aniblog tourney. Isn’t that great?