Reverse harem anime take the harem formula and flip it on its head. They don’t revolve around a male lead who gets all the girl’s attention but they rather focus on a female main character who is chased romantically by many male characters.
There are a lot of titles that follow this narrative model and in this listicle, we provide what we think are the best of the bunch.
One big advantage of this type of anime is that they are much more sentimental and with less ecchi compared to pure harem. All of these shows are suitable for any audience, it doesn’t matter if you are a boy, we are sure you will enjoy them.
Rankings are based on our taste and experience. If you don’t want any type of spoilers, it’s better if you only look at the anime titles.
Table of Contents
16. Diabolik Lovers
Diabolik Lovers is one of the best vampire romance anime that came out in the Fall of 2013. It is inspired by a franchise of 7 games for PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch.
Yui Komori, the daughter of a priest, is sent to live in a mansion with the 6 Sakamaki brothers.
Yui is confused about what is the reason why she did end up there and soon realizes that she is held captive by the brothers who turned out to be vampires.
The brothers start to take advantage of her and her situation trying their best to make her feel even more confused.
As all the brothers try to seduce her she begins to feel more and more strange and she slowly slips into a state of insanity.
15. Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth
This 2017 adaptation of the PlayStation Vita game released three years prior revolves around Cardia Beckford, a somewhat cursed young girl.
She carries a deadly substance in her body which is the reason why everybody avoids her and calls her a monster. It is set in 19th-century England, which makes for a pretty original setting
She holds the power of the eternally beating heart known as Horologium, something that many in London would want to control. As Cardia is being taken prisoner by the British Army she is saved by Arséne Lupin and his crew.
The girl will travel with 4 male characters that are subtly trying to seduce her while helping her track down his father and get answers about her condition.
As this game is an adaptation of a game, the best recommendation is to play it, if you have the time. It’s one of those Otomate productions, among the best otome ever created.
14. Cheeky Angel
Cheeky Angel is an anime inspired by the manga written by Hiroyuki Nishimori that come out in the early 2000s. It does deal with pretty sensitive topics, considering the time when it originally debuted.
Megumi was born as a boy and one day he saves a strange man from the predation of a group of bullies. This man gifts him with a magical book and Megumi summons a Genie by bleeding on it.
He wishes to become more manly and strong and is instead transformed into a beautiful lady. Megumi gets into Furinkan High School and his classmates will eventually fall for her.
The series is blatantly trying to pose questions about gender and identity by having a male character who turns into a woman that everybody calls Angel on account of her looks and her attractiveness.
Amnesia is an anime that came out in 2013 and it’s inspired by an otome, much like Code: Realize.
This show revolves around a young girl who faints and loses her memory. She doesn’t remember anything from her past, not even her name.
The ties to her past are a cellphone with unknown numbers and a mysterious spirit named Orion. Every time she will regain consciousness she will end up being in a different world and timeline.
The girl will try to unravel the mystery and soon find out to be inside an otome game where she is surrounded by attractive guys who, given the circumstances, are all attracted to her in some way.
This adaptation is acceptable as an input to play the visual novel later. The original game is much better in terms of pacing and even immersion, as you can pick choices.
Our recommendation is to play it if you have the choice.
12. Meiji Tokyo Renka
Meiji Tokyo Renka is another anime inspired by a videogame. This time is a mobile game from 2011 that was also ported to PSP a couple of years later.
A high-school girl called Mei Ayazuki is transported to the Meiji period by Charlie, a self-proclaimed magician. She was able to see spirits since she was a kid but this ability alienated people in her life
She will end up meeting many historical figures who will ask for her help because she can see spirits and ghosts.
She would have to wait for the next full moon to return in her time but, because of her newfound purpose, she will consider staying in the past.
This is the perfect opportunity to develop feelings for the handsome men that worship her abilities.
It’s not your average reverse harem because we won’t see many guys falling in love with Mei.
The spotlight is indeed stolen by Ougai Mori, her main love interest.
11. Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games Is Tough for Mobs
This anime is inspired by a self-published web novel written by Yomu Mishima.
The plot is about a guy who is forced to play an otome and, after his death, is reincarnated into one of the game’s NPCs called Leon Fou Bartfort.
Nothing new, this is one of the most common isekai tropes out there.
While trying to live in a world he despises, Leon notices another girl who got reincarnated into a character called Marie. She’s acting like the game protagonist and seducing the dateable characters, creating her reverse harem.
The action of these characters will meddle with the game plot which will get widely out of track and the main cast is going to be ultimately tasked with defeating the final boss.
As the title suggests, this anime is inspired by otome so it’s only natural that the point of these games is recreated in the show.
10. Kiss Him, Not Me
Kiss Him, Not Me is a short anime that came out in 2016 and it’s adapted from a shojo manga written and illustrated by Junko. A live-action movie was also published in 2020.
The protagonist is a girl called Kae Serinuma. She is pretty overweight at the beginning of the show and she can’t help but fantasize about her male classmates falling for each other and enjoys imagining them together.
After falling into a depression she loses a lot of weight and becomes very beautiful, so much so that her classmates start to notice her.
They all want to seduce her and spend time with them but she tries to live out her obsession and make them fall for each other.
The difference with other reverse harem shows here is that the main character doesn’t enjoy the attention she ends up getting and she tries to twist it for her enjoyment.
We think that this concept perfectly captures the idea of a romance anime with a depressed MC to show that sometimes attentions aren’t always needed.
9. Uta no Prince Sama
This is an anime tv show part of a much bigger franchise that started with the homonym PSP game in 2010.
Haruka Nanami is an aspiring composer who enrolls in Saotome Academy to follow her dreams and soon finds out that the staff is composed either of idols or poets.
She ends up in a situation where many of the popular boys in the school ask her to be their partner to produce music together but she is unable to pick anyone.
The competition in the school is fierce and romance is forbidden. The premises for romantic involvements are there to entertain you throughout the series.
This is a 12-episode anime that came out in the Spring of 2010 and revolves around the adventures of a young woman named Chizuru Yukimura.
Her father Koudou went missing so she disguises herself as a man and heads to Kyoto in search of him. She attracts the attention of ronins and, as she is about to get caught in a horrible turn of events, the Shinsengumi come and rescue her.
They are a sort of Japanese police during the Edo period and they decide to take her along with them. At some point, they will realize that they are both going after the same doctor for different reasons.
This reverse harem stars interesting male characters with personalities that are not just about looks. They all seem to represent a different side of masculinity and Chizuru will end up falling for one of them.
Reverse harem shows are the textbook case of a popular guy falling in love with a shy girl romance, and this one in particular is excellent.
This is another adaptation from 2 Otomate games, we recommend you play them if you want to enjoy the full Hakuoki experience.
7. Mysterious Play (Fushigi Yuugi)
Mysterious Play is an anime that came out in the mid-’90s and it is inspired by a shojo manga series written by Yuu Watase.
Miaka Yuuki and her friend Yui Hongo visit the national library and they find a mysterious book that transports them into a fantasy world set in ancient China.
The situation escalates when the pair encounters the land’s emperor, Hotohori, who believes Miaka is the foretold priestess of the kingdom’s protector god Suzaku.
She will be tasked with finding the 7 Celestial Warriors to summon Suzaku and have all her wishes granted.
Of course, the Celestial Warriors are all attractive guys who will swear to protect her against anything.
This anime pioneered the reverse harem genre and its character are sure to grow on you.
6. Ouran High School Host Club
Ouran High School Host Club is a series based on a very popular shojo manga in the comedy, sentimental genre with reverse harem elements.
Haruhi Fujioka is a girl who after much effort has managed to enroll in Ouran Academy, one of the most prestigious academies in Japan.
Ouran Academy is a prestigious high school for the ultra-rich based in Tokyo and the protagonist Haruhi Fujioka manages to get in thanks to a scholarship.
The girl will stumble upon a room that turns out to be the headquarters of the Ouran Host Club. This is a club where a group of rich good-looking boys entertains female clients.
Haruhi will break an expansive vase so she will be forced to work there to repay her debt and will slowly build a relationship with the boys of the Ouran Host Club.
Ouran High School Host Club is one of the most popular reverse harem romances out there, that features one of the best dominant female leads in romance anime in our opinion.
5. Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango)
Boys Over Flowers is another anime that goes back to the 90s and it takes inspiration from a manga written by Yoko Kamio.
Makino Tsukushi is a girl from a regular family who attends the Eitoku Academy, a prestigious school in Tokyo run by a group of spoiled rich kids known as the F4.
The girl stands up to them and their bullying behavior so Tsukasa, one of the boys, starts to be attracted to her and her ability to not back down.
The bullying demeanor of Tsukasa however repulses Tsukushi, so she falls instead for his sensitive best friend Rui Hanazawa.
This love triangle will constitute the basis of the entire series and a staple of the reverse harem genre.
4. Hanasakeru Seishounen
Hanasakeru Seishounen is an anime from 2009 that is inspired by a manga written by Natsumi Itsuki.
The protagonist Kajika Burnsworth is the daughter of the powerful industrial Harry Burnsworth.
She has been scarred for life due to the death of his mother perpetuated by a group that wanted to threaten his wealthy father.
Harry sends his daughter to live on an island accompanied by her caretaker, a white leopard, and a boy named Li Ren Fang.
When Kajika turns 14 she rejoined her father and is tasked to find her ideal husband. She has to choose between very attractive and charming boys but that is the only thing she knows about them.
This gives a welcome twist to the reverse harem genre because it is not only about boys trying to seduce a girl, it is also about other very important interests and plots that move in the background.
3. My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
This 12-episode anime aired in 2020 revolves around a girl named Catarina Claes who is reincarnated as the villain of her favorite game.
She knows that the character faces death in every possible ending so she uses her extensive experience with the game to avoid such an occurrence.
This won’t be easy even for her who knows the game like the back of her hand. She will have to be careful and avoid all death flags that will trigger the impending doom, hence the title of the show.
It’s quite an original take on the recurring theme of “otome” anime and manages to stand out from many of the other titles on this list.
Being based on an otome, this is a story that involves many characters, both male and female, falling for the protagonist.
2. Yona of the Dawn
In a story about treason and revenge, the main character princess Yona is betrayed and banished from her kingdom.
She will do everything in her power to reclaim her place, as shown by her resolute nature. The story is set in a fictional kingdom that takes inspiration from the Three Kingdoms period of Korea, around 57 BC to 668 AD.
She lives a pampered life before being forced to flee from her home, the Hyriuu Castle. This will change her life and she will begin to learn all sorts of combat techniques from Hak, including archery and swordsmanship.
This is a story of a princess who is forced to get to grips with reality after losing her privileged status. She will become a powerful warrior in an attempt to regain what she had lost.
There is an abundance of male characters around the female protagonist so, in that sense, this can be considered a reverse harem. However, unlike many other entries on this list, not all of them fall in love with Yona.
For these reasons, we consider it one of the best historical romance anime you can ever watch.
1. Fruits Basket
Fruit Basket is a classic romance anime with supernatural elements and a cult in the romance genre that received a remake in 2019 by Studio TMS Entertainment.
Tohru Honda is a young orphan girl living who ends up living in invited in her classmate Yuki Soma’s place along with his family and cousins Kyo and Shigure.
The girl will soon discover that a curse affects the family. Anyone who embraces a person of the opposite sex will be turned into their respective animal of the Chinese zodiac.
As Tohru tries to get to the bottom of this mysterious curse, the boys will fight to get her attention and seduce her, leaving the protagonist with a lot of options.
We highly recommend watching this little gem if you didn’t already. It’s also one of the best romance anime on Hulu, so you have no excuses.