You know how people sometimes argue about the relative superiority of certain genres (or the relative suckiness…) No? Trust me, they do. It’s a thing. I don’t know when it started or why, but it happens a lot.

fairy tail argument
yup, this is what anime fans look like…

Anywho, I’ve observed these debates from a distance without ever really contributing much or anything at all to them. I find them interesting in principle but sort of inconsequential otherwise. I personally have no stake in these discussions as I don’t really think any genre is either empirically better or worse than any other.

So just to prove myself wrong, today let’s create the BEST anime genre together. That one genre that will 100% please everyone, all the time. That sounds like a perfectly reasonable goal and just the right way to spend my time!

I figure that first we should concentrate on the polarizing genres. Since the defenders of these genres are so passionate, if we can just fix the issues the detractors have, we’ll be all set.

Also, I am ill-informed at best about what’s popular or polarizing at the moment so all “data” in this post is actually random assumption based on very limited casual observation. In other words, up to the highest internet standards!

anime harem
All these girls have something in common, if I could just put my finger on it…

I’m going to say that the big polarizing genres of the moment are Harems, Hentai (is that really a genre or can any genre also be Hentai?), Isekai and not quite BL. What do I mean by not quite BL? Well I’ve noticed something odd, shows that are actually open BL and advertised as such actually don’t get that much flak, but shows that are full of sensitive boys who look at each other a lot but don’t kiss, really annoy some people! Those are my not quite BL. I could put CGDCT in there as well, even though I think most people enjoy them.

The main problems that tend to be brought up by detractors of harems are weak/uninteresting main characters and occasionally sexist storylines. On the other hand, fans of the genre tends to get really protective of it and praise the feel good atmosphere and potential for a wide variety of strong supporting characters.  Any good genre needs to have a good protagonist, so we’ll get back to it later, but the sexist storylines can have an easy fix. Our genre will have a harem element that feels good and allows for a wide variety…yada yada but it will always be mix gender harems. Heck put as many genders as you can think of in there. The more the merrier.

OK, how about Hentai. I figure we remove rape, abuse, incest and pedophilia tropes and that already calms down a lot of people. Our mixed gender harem will be a happy go lucky bunch of consensual and respectful fun times. Also, we will add a little screen in screen that plays a fun little music video during those scenes so that people who aren’t keen on seeing mature content can watch that instead. And now we’ve incorporated idol shows as well. We are great at this!

anime isekai
Then again, maybe people love isekai…

Next up, Isekais. Why don’t people like Isekais anyways. I like them… I think it may just be genre exhaustion, cause there’s been so many of them. You know what, we’ll make a fish out of water in another world story but we won’t call it an Isekai. That one was easy!

Not quite BL… Well, there may be some other issues at work here that I don’t necessarily want to tackle today but based on the fact that BL is more accepted than not quite BL, let’s just create some boy/boy and girl/girl couples in our mixed harem. I am getting excited now.

We just need to fit the CGDCT part. Now I don’t actually know hat detractors of the genre specifically dislike about it other than it’s not for them, it’s kind of boring or it’s all the same. Truth be told that can pretty much apply to any anime. We’re going to get our cute girls in the girl part of the mixed harem and if they kiss each other than can count as a cute thing. They’ll do it cutely…

So now we just have to make sure it’s not boring or all the same, which brings us straight back to our super amazing protagonist. Everything hinges on this, guys. In order to bring this genre home, we need an original, exciting, relatable to all people and not annoying lead character!

anime collage
Pikachu as a harem mc!

…And that’s not really going to happen, is it? No one character can actually fill all those criteria at once. This is quite the pickle. Not to mention that until our anime comes out, we really have no clue how audiences will react. And this is the most important part! Kinda…

O.k. – suggestion! Every week a fan favourite character from another show will come in and be our protagonist. A sort of reverse Monster of the Week (a hero of the week)! And that gives us access to that sweet sweet pre-established fanbase. We are going to get so many awards!

I think it’s safe to say we have just created the perfect anime. The idea that shows need stories is way outdated. What we need however is a nice name for this new genre. I suggest Ranzatsu! What do you think?

Drooling Rini
it’s gonna be awesome

20 thoughts

  1. I’m not quite sure what I just read, but that “Pikachu as a harem mc!” caption was pure, demented genius!!! I am, as always, amazed.

  2. I have no idea what I just read and I am quite wet behind the ears when it comes to Anime genres in general. Reading the word hentai you know your getting into some drawn porn, lol. that is as far as my knowledge goes.

    1. Oh my, but you made it all the way to the comments and I really admire your perseverance. This comment means a lot to me!

  3. I can’t really make myself watch a single Iseakai anime as from what i noticed its more or less the same the thing. And if it isn’t a harem Iseakai its got to be another slice of life type school teenaged setting anime that eventually evolves into another harem story.
    Like this is the kind of stuff that Hayao Miyazaki himself stated that the industry is “too full of otaku”.
    Because of the heavy amounts of recycling seen in shows,manga,genres and nothing original is being made as of now and its the safe route thats making the most amount of money in the anime industry at the moment. Like seeing the same type of mary/marty sue cheerful happy go lucky characters that can sometimes be gullible doormats,abusive tsundere waifus and a villain thats just evil for just the sake of it.
    I don’t have any personal issues to slice of life or the Iseakai itself but i’d certainly would like to see more risks being taking,deconstruction of the genre itself like how School Days did with the slice of life harem genre itself. And also theses trends being cut down immensely so that other types of shows like Psycho Pass and Serial Experiments Lain exist alongside with Iseakai and Slice Of Life as variety should be an option and your idea of a new genre is risky but interesting to see be executed.

    1. Personally I feel that anime takes more structural and narrative risks than mos mediums due the the almost uniquely low oversight, so I figure if we’re gonna see a new genre anywhere, anime is a good bet

    2. I do see it as well that anime does take more risks so if a genre was to be created it would have originated from anime.

  4. I have heard Bollywood movies sometimes cycle through genres in one movie, essentially trying to have a little bit for everyone to enjoy and this genre idea seem based on similar principles.

    Im also reminded of the most wanted/unwanted song project where they polled people on their favorite/least favorite music tropes and did a song each designed to be as pleasing/displeasing to most people as possible.

    To me at least, the most wanted song is dull and the most unwanted song is awesome, so maybe to make the best genre one need to try annoy as many people at possible at the same time and hope it cycles around from terrible to awesome.

  5. There is way to much implied stuff in Ranzatsu for me. It sounds good but I would use “Every Fan-Fiction-Of-Twelve-Year-Olds-Ever” as a name!

    I would make an Isekai about a NEET girl that gets send to a medieval fantasy world but she is actually super weak and can not even lift a sword let alone know how to wield it or how to ride a horse. Meanwhile (reverse harem) she tries to flirt with people to get a new life and someone to pay her bread and maybe a place to stay ..but since she is odd looking and has odd clothes no one wants anything to do with her. So she has to stealth around and steal some stuff cause she aint suriving any other way. They also have big medieval mecha’s .. who like guard them from big monsters… but of course she can not ride them. But she falls in love with a mecha rider though. One sided of course!
    The strangest thing however about the mecha’s is that they can not Gatai!

    In order to get the man to acknowledge her she moves to a school for magical girls.. where she finds out she has no magic. Each episode of this show will deal with different anime genres but show it’s NOT that genre. I shall call it a Nanimonai or a Dai-Shippai show!

      1. The season after yours comes out? I would not want to compete with Senpai. Perhaps we can do a kickstarer for a year of weird Anime genres. We just need one for Summer and Fall season now!

  6. Oh! A return of old-style Irina at the very end there!

    Since you asked within the article, I’ll jot down what generally annoys me about Isekai (aside from the exhaustion, as you noted). Most of the problems I have with those that I’ve seen is an imbalance of build-up and reward. From what I’ve seen, Isekai are too eager to make the protagonists stronger than anything and everything at the drop of a hat, causing the tension of potential fallout to be moot and any development of character to lie within petty personal conundrums. It isn’t always like this (from what I’ve heard), but that tends to be the issue I normally come across. It’s like if a sports story started and the new recruit was automatically perfect and never lost. That’d be pretty boring.

    1. Mary Sue protagonists. That’s fair enough and I do see what you mean. It’s definitely a trend in the genre

    2. I agee, many isekai seem to want to over power their protagonists, and there is a trend or at least I’ve seen a lot where the protagonist is just a jerk. Another issue some spend so much time world building that they forget about the characters.

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