The harem in anime series can be a captivating choice, especially in romance anime, which we find appealing.
However, when it’s exaggerated or placed in storylines that aren’t suitable for this plot device, it can end up spoiling the story.
To prevent this from happening, we’ve made a list of the best action-packed series to watch without having to worry about any unwanted harem scenes.
This list is based on our personal opinions and experiences.
Table of Contents
15. Future Diary
Yukiteru Amano, is a solitary young man who keeps a diary on his cell phone in which he writes about everything happening around him, considering it as an imaginary friend called Deus Ex Machina.
But one day, Deus decides to change the game and alters Yukiteru’s diary, now reporting future events.
This sets the stage for a survival game, where participants must eliminate each other or destroy their opponent’s future diaries in an attempt to take Deus’ place as the god of time and space.
One of the key players in the game is Yuno Gasai, who embodies the perfect stereotypical yandere character.
Despite the violent deaths that occur in the game, Yuno becomes deeply obssessed with Yukiteru, and she will be the only girl in the romantic subplot.
Also because she will kill every other love rival with her own hands.
14. Tokyo Ghoul
One of the most popular and talked-about anime in recent years, Tokyo Ghoul has gained attention for various reasons, mainly due to its inconsistent animated adaptation.
The story centers around Ken Kaneki, a regular college student who lives in a city where strange and violent killings are taking place.
The police investigation suggests that these deaths are caused by Ghouls, mysterious creatures that feed on their victims’ bodies, but no one has seen them yet.
Despite the controversial animated adaptation that can be confusing and inaccurate at times, and that’s why we recommend reading the manga, the romance subplot in the anime is engaging and without harem.
Throughout the story, Kaneki has a singular interest in Touka and does not entertain any other romantic prospects.
The protagonist of Btooom! is Ryouta Sakamoto, a jobless young man living with his mother who spends much of his time playing an online video game called Btooom.
One day, he wakes up on a mysterious island with a crystal implanted in his hand. He soon realizes that he is trapped in a real-life version of his favorite game, where the goal is to kill seven players in order to escape.
As he navigates the dangerous virtual world, Ryouta teams up with Himiko and the two of them work to survive and uncover the mystery behind their captivity.
Btooom! combines elements of survival games with intense action, references to videogame culture, and a minimal romance subplot.
Although Ryouta and Himiko’s relationship develops over time, it doesn’t play a significant role in the overall plot and doesn’t add any harem trope.
12. Black Lagoon
Black Lagoon is a 2006 anime that follows the story of Rokurou Okajima, a regular businessman who is taken hostage during a business trip to the crime-ridden island of Roanapur.
When his employer refuses to pay his ransom, he has no choice but to join the mafia-pirate gang called Black Lagoon, transforming from an ordinary man to a ruthless criminal.
The series is known for its excellent combination of action, great characters, and mature portrayal of the criminal world. For all these reasons, it’s one of the best action anime you could ever watch in your life.
There is also a mild love subplot between Rokuro and Revy that adds an emotional element to the story, but it is not a prominent aspect while still being enjoyable and without any harem.
11. JoJo’s Bizzare Adventures
JoJo’s Bizzare Adventures is a legendary anime and manga franchise created by Hirohiko Araki in 1987. With its ongoing anime adaptation, the series has become an iconic part of the anime industry.
Each arc follows a different member of the Joestar family as they face their own unique adventures with different supportive characters everytime, the JoBros.
Speaking of romance, almost every JoJo has their own love interests, with the relationships being focused on one person instead of a harem scenario.
Jonathan has Irina, Joseph Zuzie Q. and here goes.
With its memorable moments, outstanding fighting scenes, and quirky style, it’s no wonder JoJo is considered one of the best anime and manga franchises of all time.
Noragami is an action and fantasy anime with supernatural elements. It consists of two seasons, each with 12 episodes.
The story follows the unusual duo of Yato, a minor deity, and Hiyori Iki, an ordinary schoolgirl.
One day, Hiyori saves Yato from a car accident and takes the hit instead of him, causing her soul to become unstable and unable to return to her body. Yato then sets out to save her by giving her body back.
As time goes on, a love subplot develops between the two characters, but there is no harem situation involved.
If you’re looking for a combination of romance with demons and spirits and great action, Noragami is the anime for you, even though its setting is not particularly new or special.
9. Yu Yu Hakusho
Yu Yu Hakusho is a classic work by the renowned master Togashi, also known for creating the masterpiece named Hunter X Hunter. The anime adaptation, released in 1992, consists of 112 episodes.
The story follows Yusuke Urameshi, a young delinquent with a good heart, who sacrifices himself to save a child in an accident.
Impressed by his act of kindness, the Spirit King offers to bring him back to life as a detective in the spiritual world.
The anime boasts exciting battles, thanks to its well-choreographed fights and well-developed characters in a cool setting.
Additionally, there’s a sweet romance subplot between Yusuke and Keiko, which adds to the overall appeal of the show without taking center stage or escalating into harem situations.
8. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is a must-watch for fans of battle shonen and fighting anime, but also for anime fans in general.
This masterpiece is based on the manga written by Hiromu Arakawa in 2001 and Brotherhoodf is the animated series that most closely follows the original story.
The anime follows the journey of Edward and Alphonse Elric, two brothers who live in a world where alchemy is used for a variety of purposes, from war and medicine to everyday life.
Their mission is to regain their lost bodies, which they lost when they tried to bring their mother back to life through alchemy.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood offers a great blend of story, characters, and action scenes, and it even features a sweet romance subplot between Edward and Winry, which never becomes a harem.
Whether you’re a fan of fighting anime or just looking for a great show to watch, FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood is always a perfect choice.
7. Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin is a classic anime that follows the story of a legendary warrior, Kenshin Himura. Set in the days of proud Japanese warriors, this 95-episode anime is based on the manga of the same name by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
The story revolves around Kenshin’s journey to protect people from injustice and atone for his violent past actions.
He meets Kaoru Kamiya, who becomes his only love interest throughout the series, and together they go on adventures filled with love and conflict.
The anime is known for its realistic fighting scenes, which give a true feel of a good action anime without power of friendship stretches.
With no harem or plot armor, this anime is a must-watch for fans of realistic samurai-themed dramas or for the romance anime where MC saves girl trope.
6. The Vision of Escaflowne
The Vision of Escaflowne is an anime created by the same genial mind behind Macross. It was a highly ambitious project that received significant investment from Bandai, with an allocation of 30 million yen per episode.
The story follows Hitomi Kanzaki, a high school girl with a passion for running and tarot cards.
After having a strange dream, she is transported to an unknown world called Gaia where she meets a swordsman named Van Fanel.
The two are thrown into the midst of a war against the Zaibach empire and must work together to survive.
This isekai anime blends several different elements, including war themes, mecha, and romance. And in this case, the focus remains on the relationship between Hitomi and Van, with no harem involved.
If you’re looking for an underrated anime with a unique combination of elements, The Vision of Escaflowne is totally worth checking out.
5. Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon is a cult anime series based on the manga of the same name written by Naoko Takeuchi.
The series follows the adventures of Usagi Tsukino and her allies as they battle against various evil forces in self-contained mini-adventures that slowly build up to the final enemy.
It’s a highly recommended series, known for its overall quality and being the standard in the majokko genre that you should watch if you haven’t already.
It has a lot of action, perfectly written characters and an excellent love subplot between Usagi and Mamoru, the charming Tuxedo Mask, without any kind of harem.
Inuyasha is a cult anime that has one of the best romance subplot ever. It’s based on a shonen manga that was published in Weekly Shonen Sunday.
The protagonist of the story is Kagome, a young girl who falls into a well and is transported back in time to Sengoku-era Japan.
In this era, she is reincarnated as the priestess Kikyo and must protect the sphere of the four winds with the help of Inuyasha, a demon with canine-like features.
Inuyasha is an incredibly great choice if you want to merge action scenes and an one of the best historical romance anime in the same story without any harem, even if there’ll be a love triangle at some point in the story.
3. Super Dimension Fortress Macross
Macross is a legendary mecha anime from 1982 known for its strong romance elements and one of the best love triangles you can find in anime.
The story begins with humanity completing a space airship based on an alien wreck called Macross.
However, upon launch, they are attacked by the alien race Zentradi, and the survivors are forced to escape on the ship. This starts a war against the unknown threat.
What makes Macross unique is how it blends together mecha and music with a credible love triangle that doesn’t involve harem at all.
In the beginning, the protagonist, Hikaru, is disliked by his superior Misa Hayase, but as the show progresses, their relationship evolves into a strong bond. But the central character of the love triangle is for sure Linn Minmay, a popular girl who will make her debut during the series and even help fight against the Zentradi.
The love triangle and war both evolve as the series progresses, making Macross a must-watch for fans of mecha and romance anime.
Katanagatari is a brilliant creation by Nisio Isin that explores the world of samurai and sword fighting in an unique way, becoming an excellent violent anime with romance.
It follows the journey of a swordsman and strategist as they search for the twelve most powerful swords in Japan during the Edo period.
The protagonist, Shichika Yasuri, is the seventh head of the Kyotoryu family, known for their unique bare-handed fighting style.
Togame, the strategist, will join Shichika on the mission to retrieve the swords and orders him to fall in love with her and protect her along the way.
But as the story goes on, the two eventually develop a deep bond beyond their business relationship.
The romance in Katanagatari is well thought-out, examining the concept of love from different perspectives, and it ultimately penetrates Shichika’s previously cold heart.
And most important, this love story will not become a harem, as the two characters are the sole focus of the plot.
1. Gurren Lagann
Gurren Lagann is a 27-episode anime series produced by Gainax in 2007, set in a distant future where Earth is ruled by the Beast Men and humans are forced to live underground.
The story follows Simon and Kamina, who discover a robot head while digging underground. This event will trigger a lot of things, exploding in a war with an alien race.
The series is filled with action-packed robot-beastman battles and homages to various mecha series in one of the most over-the-top anime you can find
But despite the epicness, you’ll also find some well-crafted romance subplots, with both Simon and Kamina having their love interest. Simon with Nia, and Kamina with Yoko, without a single hint of harem.