A popular genre in Japanese media is having one male protagonist surrounded by a sea of beautiful women; a harem, yes, you’ve guessed correctly. Generally, a harem refers to one guy and multiple girls, while a reverse harem is one girl and numerous men. Japanese authors continue to dish out new harem series because of their popularity among young men and women.
Why is this genre so popular? It’s simple; it proposes an alternate reality to a life many of us can’t attain. Who will the hero end up with? Will it be the girl-next-door or the snobby school princess? Place your bets! You’re in the right place if you’re an avid harem manga reader looking for a new title to dig into. Here are the best 15 harem manga of all time!
15. Fortune Arterial (August (Writer), 2007 – 2008)
Vampires, cute high school girls, and an aloof male protagonist- mix these three, and you have Fortune Arterial. August’s harem series is a short but sweet story told in an exciting light. The manga only has one volume, making it the perfect “bingable” harem series.
Because of his father’s nature of work, protagonist Kohei Hasekura is used to moving schools every so often. Since he knows he won’t stay too long in one area, he doesn’t make an effort to make friends. However, after transferring to the prestigious Shuchikan Academy and discovering his classmates’ dark secrets, Kohei starts to find school interesting. On top of that, he becomes friends with an endless stream of cute high school girls who all take a liking to him.
Fortune Arterial does a great job of narrating an exciting plot in a short time. It’s a great read to get into the harem genre.
If you can read Japanese, you can get the Japanese edition of volume 1 on Amazon: FORTUNE ARTERIAL 1 Japanese Edition
14. Chrome Shelled Regios: Missing Mail (Shūsuke Amagi, 2007 – 2013)
Amagi Shūsuke’s Chrome Shelled Regios: Missing Mail is the perfect example of a harem where the male protagonist is unaware of the numerous girls flocking around him. This manga version recounts a different story of Layfon Wolfstein Alseif compared to the original light novel. However, the story is just as good and full of twists and turns.
Our hero, Layfon, lives in the Academic City of Zuellni – one of the many isolated mobile cities in Regios. The story is set in the far future, where Earth is tormented by creatures birthed from pollution, and humans learn to protect themselves through weapons. Coming from a military-rich background, Layfon enrolls in Zuellni, hoping to leave his past behind. However, the student council president Nina Antalk immediately sees Layfon’s potential and forces him to join her platoon.
Apart from Nina, other students, most of them girls, like Layfon. As Layfon gets used to his new environment, he also learns more about his past.
If you want to practice reading Japanese, you can find the Japanese edition of volume 1 of this series here on Amazon: Chrome Shelled Regios: Missing Mail #1
13. Fujimura-Kun Mates (Seīchi Shiki (2009 – 2013)
Shiki’s Fujimura-kun Mates earns a spot on our list for its manzai style comedy told through a high school harem. Manzai is a traditional style of Japanese comedy with two performers; the one telling the joke, known as the “boke,” and the one receiving the joke, called the “tsukkomi.” Shiki’s manga is full of humorous interactions between the tsukkomi protagonist Fujimura and his boke harem of girls.
Fujimura never attends his classes and doesn’t have any friends. Because of his standoffish personality, he becomes his school’s resident delinquent. However, one day the class president, Eriko Usami, approaches Fujimura and forces him to go to school. Soon after, more girls start to take notice of the aloof high schoolboy.
Suddenly, Fujimura finds himself stuck in a sea of girls who don’t know how to act normal. As the only sane person in his new circle of friends, how will Fujimura interact with his boke harem? The jokes in this manga are impressive and well-executed. Give it a try and see for yourself!
It can be difficult to find an English copy of this manga. However, if you are able to read Japanese, you can find the Japanese edition of volume 1 on Amazon here: 藤村くんメイツ 1 (Fujimura-Kun Mates)
A 7 volume set of the Japanese edition is also available here: 藤村くんメイツ コミック 1-7巻セット
12. Nyan Koi! (Sato Fujiwara, 2007 – Present)
If you like cats and rom-com harems, Nyan Koi! is your cup of tea. Fujiwara’s harem manga Nyan Koi! has an interesting plot, enjoyable humor, and a clean art style with distinct characters. The six-volume manga even has a 12-episode anime adaptation for those who want to give that a try.
Junpei Kōsaka’s life couldn’t be any worse. He’s allergic to cats but admires a girl who adores cats, and is surrounded by a family of cat lovers. He angers a cat deity and has a curse and a gift bestowed on him; he now can understand what cats say when they “talk!” To return to normal, Junpei must complete 100 cat wishes. He turns into a feline and dies from his allergy if he fails. Yikes.
Nyan Koi! is an excellent read for days you want to relax and enjoy a humorous harem story filled with cats. You’ll find yourself cracking up between the exchanges between Junpei and his moody house cat that he can now understand.
The Japanese edition of volume 1 on this manga can be found here on Amazon: にゃんこい!1 (Nyan Koi!)
11. Kyo Kara Maoh! (Tomo Takabayashi, 2005 – 2016)
Although not generally classified as a BL (boys love) manga, Takabayashi’s Kyo Kara Maoh! has a lot of shounen-ai undertones. The harem in this fantasy comedy is one boy surrounded by multiple handsome men. Did that pique your interest? Kyo Kara Maoh! has a lengthy but well-executed plot plus beautifully drawn lovable characters.
Yuri Shibuya is your average high school boy until his face was shoved in a toilet and transported into another universe. Yuri loses consciousness and wakes up in a land where no one speaks Japanese, and everyone is a demon. And, to Yuri’s surprise, he is the Almighty Ruler of this Great Demon Kingdom.
Yuri tries to create a world where humans and demons can live together in harmony as the Demon King. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
You can find volume 1 of this manga on Amazon here: Kyo Kara MAOH!, Vol. 1
You can find other volumes of this manga series here: Kyo Kara Maoh! series
10. We Never Learn (Taishi Tsutsui, 2017 – 2020)
Despite touching multiple rom-com cliches and tropes, We Never Learn still brings out an enjoyable story with well-rounded characters. This harem manga is the best to pick up on days you’re looking for something predictable yet fun. The art style is clean, with neat backdrops.
The protagonist, Nariyuki Yuiga, is a senior high school student at the Ichinose Academy tasked with tutoring three of his female classmates to secure a university scholarship. Not surprisingly, each girl he tutors ends up falling for him. The longer Nariyuki helps these girls with their studies, the deeper their feelings for him become.
Conveniently, the story has multiple endings where Nariyuki ends up with each love interest. Neat, right?
Check out volume 1 here on Amazon: We Never Learn, Vol. 1
You can find other volumes in this series here: We Never Learn manga series
9. Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs (Yomu Mishima, 2018 – Present)
Otome games (maiden games) and the harem genre are like bread and butter. These two go hand in hand as their existence is impossible without one another. The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs takes isekai, otome games, and harems to a whole new level. The story’s plot is full of twists and turns and focuses more on creating interesting characters rather than on romance.
After passing away, Leon Fou Bartfort finds himself reincarnated into an otome game he spent hours grinding. Leon is an average salaryman in the real world, and his averageness trickles down into the otome world, making it easy for him to blend into the background. Leon befriends the game’s protagonist Olivia and helps her conquer the game.
Along his journey, Leon meets other characters and uses his in-depth knowledge of the game to help those around him. The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mob is a breath of fresh air for isekai and harem genres.
You can find volume 1 of this series here on Amazon: Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs (Manga) Vol. 1
You can find other volumes in this series here: Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs manga series
8. The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You (Rikito Nakamura, 2019 – Present)
Did you count five “really” in the title of Nakamura’s ultimate harem rom-com? This story doesn’t fall short of female heroines; there will be a hundred of them, all pining for the protagonist! The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You has superb writing and a beautiful, distinguishable art style.
The lovable yet single Rentarō Aijō has never been successful in any of his confessions. He has tried his luck with 100 girls, only to be rejected by them. Tired of his misfortune, Rentarō heads to a shrine and wishes that he would be more successful with love in high school. His wish was granted, but it came with a catch.
Instead of meeting his one and only soulmate, Rentarō is destined to meet 100! And if he doesn’t return a girl’s feelings for him, that girl will die. Not wanting his soulmates to die because of him, Rentarō dates every girl that falls in love with him. Currently, he has six girls and already struggling. How will he juggle 94 more?
Check out volume 1 here on Amazon: The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You Vol. 1
Find other volumes in this series here: The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You manga series
7. Hayate the Combat Butler (Kenjiro Hata, 2004 – 2017)
Hayate the Combat Butler is for you if you’re looking for a harem gag manga with a retro art style. Running for more than ten years, this manga ended with over 500 chapters. Although it’s impossible to finish this in one sitting, it’s the type of story you come back to when you’re looking for something familiar and comfortable.
The story centers on the tragic life of Hayate Ayasaki – a 16-year-old who’s forced to pay off his parents’ debt. Unable to return the millions of yen his parents owed debt collectors, Hayate runs for his life and, in desperation, attempts to ransom a wealthy-looking young lady. Instead, Hayate witnesses his target’s kidnapping! In the end, Hayate saves the 13-year-old Nagi and ends up working as her personal butler.
Throughout his journey, 12 girls end up falling for him, including the female protagonist Nagi. Who will Hayate choose? Better start reading to find out.
You can find volume 1 of this manga on Amazon: Hayate the Combat Butler, Vol. 1
Find other volumes on this series here: Hayate the Combat Butler manga series
6. Mahou Sensei Negima! (Ken Akamatsu, 2003 – 2012)
Mahou Sensei Negima! or Negima! for short, has it all-action, adventure, romance, fantasy, harem, and even some fan service. Even with over 350 chapters, Negima delivers a detailed plot without any loopholes. Many characters are introduced, but each is unique and rememberable.
All that protagonist Negi Springfield wants to achieve in life are two things: find his long-lost father and become a Magister Magi. Although his first goal isn’t progressing, he has more luck becoming a powerful wizard when he teaches English at an all-girls Japanese middle school. The 10-year-old Negi is now the new homeroom teacher to a class of 31 girls!
You can imagine the chaos bound to happen to Negi at his new workplace. Will he find his missing father and successfully teach his new students without them eating him alive? There’s only one way to find out!
Check out the volume 1 on Amazon here: Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Vol. 1
5. The Quintessential Quintuplets (Negi Haruba, 2017 – 2020)
Quintessential Quintuplets may look like your average harem, but its ending is far from predictable. While most harem manga end in a “multiple possibilities” type of way, Quintessential Quintuplets surprises its readers with an unconventional ending. Apart from its interesting plot, this manga has a clean art style with panels flowing into each other.
Because the academically gifted Futaro Uesugi drowns himself in his studies, he has no friends and is seen as a loner at school. One after another, things get worse for Futaro when his father runs up a large debt. Hoping to change their family’s tight financial situation, Futaro takes up an offer to tutor the identical quintuplet Nakano sisters. Although identical sisters, each girl has a personality that sets them apart.
The mystery in this manga lies in who Futaro ends up with. The story is told in a way that makes you root for each sister. Give it a try! You won’t regret it. Who will you be cheering for at the end?
Check out the first volume of this manga here: The Quintessential Quintuplets 1
If you love this manga, you can get a 14 volume set of this series here: Quintessential Quintuplets Manga Collection: Vol. 1-14
4. Nisekoi (Naoshi Komi, 2011 – 2016)
Any best harem manga list is not complete with Komi’s widely popular Nisekoi. This series has had its fair share of adaptations. It has been adapted into an anime, a novel, a game, and even a live-action movie. Because of its popularity, Nisekoi earned a spot on our best harem manga list.
Archenemies turned lovers? Nisekoi tells the narrative of Raku Ichijo, a son of a Yakuza gang, and Chitoge Kirisaki, a daughter of a rival gang called Beehive. Tired of the years of conflicts between two factions, the leaders of each group decided to end their feud by pairing the leaders’ children. Everything would have worked out smoothly if Raku and Chitoge were on amicable terms, but the two hate each other’s guts.
Will Raku end up with his rival Chitoge or his longtime crush Kosaki Onodera? That’s a secret you’ll have to read the manga to find out.
You can find volume 1 of this iconic series on Amazon here: Nisekoi: False Love, Vol. 1
Check out other volumes of this manga here: Nisekoi manga series
3. Ranma ½ (Rumiko Takahashi, 1987 – 1996)
Takahashi’s Ranma ½ has a special place in my heart. Both the manga and anime are classics that everyone should experience if you’re into episodic plots, multiple character harems, and comedy. Ranma ½ is unique because it has a harem, a reverse-harem, and a shoujo art style where characters are drawn with large eyes.
Ranma Saotome, a highly-skilled martial artist, has a curse that makes him turn into a girl when splashed with cold water. He can turn back into a boy when splashed with hot water. One day, his father tells him that they’re moving into the house of his long-time friend Soun Tendo and that Ranma is to choose one of his daughters to marry!
Shortly arriving at the Tendo family’s abode, Ranma falls into the pond and transforms into a girl. Yikes. With his man-hating, tomboy fiance Akane Tendo, Ranma makes new friends, enemies, and love interests who fall for his boy and girl side. Will Ranma find a cure for his curse? I’d love to tell you, but my lips are sealed.
You can find a 2-in-1 edition containing volumes 1 & 2 here on Amazon: Ranma 1/2 (2-in-1 Edition), Vol. 1: Yin Vs. Yang
Find other volumes in this series here: Ranma ½ manga series
2. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku O! (Natsume Akatsuki, 2014 – Present)
Also known as KonoSuba, this is one of those isekai manga where you already know what will happen in the story, but you still enjoy reading it. There’s a reason why Akatsuki’s fantasy comedy series is number 2 on this best harem manga list. Its lighthearted story that relies heavily on comedy is magic. KonoSuba knows that the isekai and harem tropes are overused but uses that knowledge to bring out a great narrative.
After an embarrassing death, good-for-nothing Kazuma Satō meets a drunkard goddess who offers him another chance in life. The catch? He’ll be reincarnated into an alternate universe where he’d have to fight monsters and slay the boss. Reluctantly, Kazuma agrees and accompanies the goddess Aqua. Along the way, Kazuma forms a party with the crazy magician Megumin and the masochist crusader Darkness.
The interactions between these four chaotic characters are one of the many things that make KonoSuba a must-read in this genre.
You can find volume 1 on Amazon here: Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!, Vol. 1
Check out other volumes in this series here: KonoSuba – God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! manga series
1. The World God Only Knows (Tamiki Wakaki, 2008 – 2014)
If you like video games and harems, The World God Only Knows is the perfect mixture of the two. Wakaki’s supernatural harem manga has a unique plot with enough comedy and drama to keep readers hooked. It’s the type of story that gets better the more you get into it.
Online the high school student Keima Katsuragi is called the “God of Conquest” because of his insane skills in conquering any non-real, 2D girl in games.
In reality, Keima can’t even have a decent conversation with the opposite sex. His life changes after he accidentally summoned the cute demon Elsie who asks Keima for his help in capturing evil souls that reside in the young girl’s hearts.
Begrudgingly, Keima agrees to help Elsie. He must now conquer the hearts of 3D (real) girls to get the evil spirits out of them. Keima uses his gaming skills to win the victims’ souls to save them. If you’re looking for a good laugh with a plot that keeps you wondering, the World God Only Knows is exactly what you need.
It can be difficult to get an English edition of this manga. If you can read and understand Japanese, you can get the Japanese edition of volume 1 here: 神のみぞ知るセカイ 1 – The World God Only Knows
Did we mention your all-time favorite harem manga? Our list barely scratches the surface of the long list of titles under this genre. Let us know down in the comments below your favorite series and why!