Back to School List – The Top Ten High School Harem Anime
High school is a mysterious time. For some, it’s the best time of a life; filled with sports and friends and laughter. For others, it’s an embarrassing mess of change and lost innocence. This is why high school anime is great. It can capture all of these things and take you either away from your memories of high school or change them to make you laugh at what once mortified you.
Now, harem animes at high school takes this to an entirely new level. The embarrassment is more readily present, and the hormones you felt as you grew older are depicted as strongly and overbearing as they were when you first experienced them.
Not only this, but harem anime can add another element. It can make something relatable deeply fantastical or mysterious or scary. All of the characters are grappling with great changes happening inside of them, whether it’s coming to terms with becoming one of the most powerful vampires in the world or realizing that a love of women can turn you into a demon. Anything can happen in these worlds, but you’ll always be looking at the screen, grinning, and thinking: “I see what you did there.”
So, which are the best to watch? Based on these themes and ideas about growing older and wiser and ever more powerful, we’ve come up with a list for the top ten high school harem animes.
10. Rewrite – Rewriting Nature
Rewrite is an easy to watch and sublime anime. The style is perfect, and the characters are well realized. It is set in a world where green grasses and beautiful trees coexists with the hustle and bustle of city life. The colors on screen are a sight to behold, as the greys of buildings counterpoints the intense greens of nature.
This anime is fairly standard and simple in terms of plot, making it easy to soak many hours into it. Definitely one for a binge watch! Kotarō Tennōji, Kotori Kanbe, and Haruhiko Yoshino live peacefully and go to school in the city of Kazamatsuri, when during the annual Harvest Festival creatures begin to run amok. They must uncover the mystery that surrounds the monsters whilst also fighting with the struggles of day to day school life.
9. Trinity Seven – Making Magic Real
Trinity Seven, much like Rewrite, is also based upon a manga of the same name. The characters are easily the best part of this romantic comedy harem series. They are so easy to fall in love with, especially Lilith’s adorable reactions to anything and everything.
The plot is also intriguing. After Arata Kasuga’s childhood town is destroyed due to the Black Sun Gravitational event, he is thrust into a world of magic and mystery. Here is where he meets a host of interesting and well-developed characters, enlisting in a high school for mages.
The opening theme, Seven Doors, also certainly deserves a special mention. It sets the tone for the entire anime, with its heaving guitar in the background of strong vocals. Much like the anime, it is quite simply: epic.
8. Mayo Chiki! – Don’t Fear the Housekeeper
Mayo Chiki! is quite simply: a lot of fun. The plot is endlessly silly but never loses its thought-provoking drive. This is mostly to do with the characters you will be introduced to across your time watching it.
First you will meet Kinjirō Sakamachi. He is a 17-year-old boy at high school with a fear of girls, meaning that his nose erupts in blood at any contact with a female. In spite of this, however, the creators of the show have managed to make his character relatable in his bashfulness and admirable in his drive to help others.
When he discovers the handsome butler, Subaru Konoe, is in fact a woman, he strives to help her with the assistance of the fierce mistress, Kanade Suzutsuki. So, not only are the characters interesting and relatable and the art style is simplistically stunning, there is a lot of heart at the center of this comedy.
Comedy will always be the best way to deliver a message, and in this anime, the message is about transphobia and equal rights. So, if you want some light viewing that has a strong, heartful center, this is the anime for you.
7. Shuffle! – Play the Game
Shuffle! was originally an adult game released in 2004. The anime is a result of all of the characters arcs and storylines in the game coming together to create something gorgeous and interesting.
Shuffle! Takes a tried and tested formula and expands on it. A schoolboy trapped between worlds of gods and demons whilst also trying to study his hardest and come to terms with relationships. This anime is anything but cookie cutter, however. The art style, the music and the characters that drive the plot take it to an entirely new level.
Friendship, romance and heart battle with ideas about immigration and good-hearted demons or vindictive angels. This anime is anything but standard making it well worth a watch.
6. Strike the Blood – A Demon of an Anime
This series takes all of the embarrassing moments growing up and turns them into something deeper. It’s not simply about vampires and power, it’s about growing older and the mistakes made along the way.
Kojou Akatsuki is a high school student that lives in Itogami Island in the Demon District. He is grappling with school and growing older, and coming to terms with this, when he is spotted and suspected of being an extremely powerful vampire. Now he must tackle the powers he tried so hard to hide and learn to use them for good.
He must tackle love and lust whilst also grappling with great power. It’s an anime about coming to terms with our own abilities as we grow older and wiser, and accepting how powerful we all really are.
5. Hajimete no Gal (My First Girlfriend is a Gal) – Nost-gal-gia
The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is as it is short. Coming out recently, however, this anime kicks up a storm and will have your eyes glued to the screen from the very first moment to the last.
Directed and character designed by Hiroyuki Furukawa, who also directed the erotic comedy: “My Wife is the Student Council President”, this anime takes the best elements of the funny and the erotic and turns it into something even funnier and even more subtle.
A host of lovable and hate-able characters litters this anime. It has a simple plot. No demons or dragons to be found here, just some good old-fashioned coming of age comedy. Junichi Hashiba wants a girlfriend. He’s upset to see everyone coupling up and so he’s pushed into confessing his love for Yukana Yame. Of course, it’s not that simple. As soon as he couples up with her he begins attracting other girls.
It really is that simple, and yet, that’s all it needs to be. The conflict is there, and it drives the plot magnificently. It’s deeply relatable and funny and is an easy watch for anyone who just wants a few hours of nostalgic fun, as it WILL take you back to your high school days.
4. Rosario & Vampire – Something to Sink your Teeth into
More vampires now. For some reason in anime, vampires and high school go together hand in hand and here it is definitely no different.
In true high school harem fashion, Tsukune Aono accidentally enrolls in a school for monsters. Moka Akashiya is the series’ love interest and she is certainly lovable. Quickly gravitating towards Tsukune because of how much she loves his blood, from the start the chemistry is there. It only develops with the conflict of trying to succeed in a school for monsters when Tsukune can’t seem to succeed anywhere else.
Tsukune has only applied to this school because his grades have suffered everywhere else. As a human, going there should mean that he should be killed on site. It can get dark and stressful at times, but never overdramatic. Truly, this anime is gripping.
This anime blends Western ideas about vampires elegantly with Eastern mythology and is well worth watching just to see how this is handled.
3. High School DxD – Making School Fun
Highschool DxD is the quintessential High School Harem anime. It really has everything. Interesting art style? Check. Hilarious and well-developed characters? Check. Love triangles? Check. Demons and devils? Check. Perfect music? Check.
If you watch one of these animes, watch this one. If any other ones on the list feel like there’s something missing, this is certainly where you’ll find it. And yet it manages to always leave you wanting more.
Issei Hyodo has a reputation. A horny schoolboy, at first glance for him an all girl’s school that’s recently become co-ed seems like the perfect choice. This is before he realizes what he’s gotten himself into. The school harbors a secret. Demons.
Issei’s character never goes overboard in the wrong way, however. Yes, he is a bit of a perv, but he has a good heart and strives to overcome his hormones when he realizes there are larger things at play.
This anime is daring and controversial, and where it dares, it succeeds. It takes risks with its characters, trusting that putting them in unusual situations will bring the out the best in them. It doesn’t just attempt to make an easy to like character on a journey, it does so much more than that.
Hilarious, at times poignant and visually stunning, this is definitely one to watch.
2. Seiren (Honesty) – Seiren Song
This anime is a little different to the others. While the other animes follow a distinct plot line with gradual character development, this one goes for a more anthological approach. Every four episodes shift the story, following a new continuity. Each continuity has a different love interest embedded within the plot.
Each continuity, however, has all of the same characters so worry not! You’ll still get a perfect serving of Shōichi Kamita and Hikari Tsuneki. This anime is interesting to say the least. You get to see the characters in a completely new set of situations and settings every four episodes.
It’s fascinating to watch, as it’s an experiment in experience and character development. One strand of episodes can take a character in one direction where another takes them somewhere new and untested. It’s a joy to watch as the characters grapple with entirely new situations each time, with a butterfly effect – like plot underlining and tying each strand together.
1. Highschool of the Dead – Dead Good Fun
If anyone asks you which high school harem anime to watch, this will come up on every single list. There is a very good reason for this. It’s not because it’s basic or ticks all the boxes, even if it does tick every box for a good story, it’s because it’s close to perfect.
After a pandemic wipes out most of the population, Takashi Komuro is tasked with surviving something a lot more scary: high school. Is it a bit cheesy? Yes, at times. Is it funny and heartfelt and beautiful? It never stops being all of these things.
The plot may be simple, but it’s one of those plots that makes you ask yourself: “why has nobody never done this before?” And yet, it’s not like one of those books or films or animes that takes an amazing premise and squanders it. It truly lives up to everything it’s set out to do, and this is thanks to the incredible art style and directing, both in character design and voice acting. The music is also brilliant and will be sure to be added to playlists the world over even from people who are half-watching, not that this is possible. If you put it on in the background, be prepared to be hooked, and watch it fully from start to finish. Just remember to eat, sleep, and wash if you’ve just decided to try it out!