Build a Harem, MangaKast-Style

I’m normally sort of an outsider to a lot of the ‘cool kids’ memes and whatnot, so I’m always very touched and honored when someone tags my blog for one of these things.

Thus, it is with great pleasure to announce that I Drink and Watch Anime tagged me on…


I was on a two-week family vacation, so I’m also a little behind this wave. But, like I said, I so rarely get picked to participate in these sorts of things that I really, really wanted to give it a try, tardy to the party or not.

Here are the rules:

  1. Link back to the original post on Anime QandA so they can check out everyone’s picks!
  2. Use the ‘Build A Harem’ logo somewhere in the post.
  3. Make sure to mention the person who nominated you too!
  4. Pick 5 Anime Characters (any show & any gender) that would be in your ideal harem if you were the main character of a harem anime, explain a little bit as to why they are your picks (if you want). In my case, I went with manga, obviously. Though many of my picks are also anime heroes/heroines.
  5. Make sure each character you pick falls into some of the following harem character types: Childhood friend, tom boy/girl, genki girl/boy, loli/shota, trap, tsundere, yandere, kuudere, dandere, etc. (If there’s a character you’ve picked that doesn’t specifically fall into one of these types or falls into multiple types that’s fine too!)
  6. Nominate 5 people to participate in this tag!

Number 6 might be where I fall down on this because I’m kind of a terrible fan in that I’m not super-plugged into this community, despite my desire and best efforts. So, I’m going to circumvent that rule right now and say that if you’re a reader of mine and this meme/challenge/fun thought-experiment enchants you, consider yourself one of my nominees.

Okay, here goes…





My perfect harem “Childhood Friend” is not going to surprise anyone who has been following MangaKast or any of my other fannish persona (junko on AO3 or junko222 on Tumblr) for any reasonable length of time:

  1. ABARAI RENJI from Bleach.
01 copy 7

Renji, don’t be like that. You knew I was going to pick you.

There are so many reasons why I love Renji, but he is surprisingly defined by his role as Rukia’s childhood friend (as much as I have come to loathe that fact, since I firmly believe it’s the reason he ended up canonically shipped with her.) Most interestingly to me, he’s not actually a very GOOD childhood friend. He puts his duty as a soldier over his association with Rukia when he and Byakuya were sent by Central 46 to arrest her.

But, I could spend hours extolling is virtues. Suffice to say that I like him and I think he and his tattoos and crazy hair are super-duper hot and I would be sad if he were not part of my harem.  Plus, maybe he’s tsundere, as well? I don’t know.

Okay, having done some researching into the ‘dere’-types, I think my next pick actually falls into the Kuudere type, as in someone who remains aloof and cold to everyone, with the exception of a few characters, to whom they show their more tender side.

2. NICOLAS BROWN (Gangsta.)


I mean, look at this broken boy.  He’s pretty amazingly cold and murderous, but I would postulate that he has a softer side which he particularly shows to Theo’s young helper, Nina… and, of course, to Alex (and IN MY QUEER AS F*CK HEAD also Worick, but the jury is technically still out on that, given the last things I read, at any rate…)

Also? Totally hot.

If I’m going under the assumption that this is my personal list of guys I want following me around in high school thinking I’m the bomb and wanting desperately to get into my pants (and having wacky hijicks with each other while trying to win my affection for themselves….)… then suddenly the humor of this whole scenario really hits me. Because, honest-to-gods, the guys who attract me in manga are kind of a “type” and that type = bad boy.

To be fair, right now, trying to imagine a harem AU that includes Renji and Nicolas Brown is kind of making me happy.  Like, I feel like Renji would make an effort to, you know, do the high school thing, but I do not see Nic giving many f*cks. In fact, I think he’d be vaguely terrifying to the whole high school crowd.

Hmmm, maybe to get some diversity here, I might need to pick characters that I admire and not just want to hop into bed with.

Like, okay, this kid is WAY TOO YOUNG for me in every single way, but I actually went against type while reading Haikyuu!  Normally, as I have just said, I like the delinquents and there are a couple of those in there, but, for once, I found myself extremely charmed by the ACTUAL MAIN CHARACTER.

As a bonus, he’s totally, 100% the Genki type. Or as he would say, “Yatta!”

So, in an utterly bizarre turn of events, I add:

3. HINATA SHŌYŌ, Haikyuu!


This dork is adorable.

Besides, if I’m changing this to be more of the structure of an actual reverse harem manga, there’s always got to be the one guy where the readers look at him and say, “What is that goofball doing there?” That’s my Hinata.

Plus, being serious here for a moment, while I would never date Hinata IRL, the truth is that I would find Nicolas Brown and Abarai Renji plenty problematic, too, not the least of which for the fact that they have penises and I am a lesbian.

I really, really like Hinata. I feel like our friendship would be based on me seeing a lot more volleyball than I ever wanted, but also us jumping around excitedly and yelling “So cool! Zoom! Bash! Waaaaaa!”

Hinata Shōyō is who I’d be, if I were him.

And, if we’re going for all of who I really am in real life thing, I’m a lot more like the heroine from the manga Watashi ga Motete Dousu n da / Kiss Him Not Me  in that I’d be a lot happier if the guys in my harem were all totally gay for each other.

Okay, on that note, moving on.

If we’re going full-on imaginary, but keeping in the tradition of an actual reverse harem manga, I feel I need a Tom Boy type. I haven’t read a ton of reverse manga, but I’m always kind of surprised to the extent to which the whole ‘prince of the school’ who is actually a lady thing is a Thing.

If I was going to go with “OH HELL YA I’D DATE HER” my pick would have to be another Bleach character, Shihōin Yoruichi.  But, I don’t really want to have too many characters from the same manga on my list. I could probably do an entire harem from Bleach and what fun would that be for you, my gentle readers?

Plus, while I think she’s hot, Yoruichi would likely annoy me after awhile…

So, I think I will actually go for someone who more traditionally fits this role:

4. KASHIMA YŪ from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun/ Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun


Normally, I don’t ship you straight people and your het pairings, but this one was cute.

I probably actually like Kashima because of her relationship with Hori Masayuki (pictured above.) To be fair, one of the things I loved about the anime (and the 4-chome manga) of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun/ Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is how non-traditional many of the people and their romances are.  I mean, in their own straight way, they’re kind of queer, if you know what I mean.

Like Hinata, Kashima surprised me when I realized I liked her. Nothing, literally nothing about her is my “type,” but I found her deeply charming and rooted for her and Hori so, so MUCH.

I will admit that I was actually torn between Kashima and Nishina Shima from Watashi ga Motete Dousunda / Kiss Him Not Me, who I feel like I might actually already KNOW in real life ™, because I hang with a lot of fujoshi and cosplayers. Plus, she kind of stole my heart when she fist appeared in the manga at a convention cosplaying Sebastian from Black Butler/Kuroshitsuji (who would also be on my list, except I think he’s really quite GAY.)

So maybe number 4 could be a revolving ‘prince’ door?

Right!  To round out my harem, I think I should return to my physical type. I mean, setting aside the fact that this would be the weirdest group of people to ever exist in the same manga, I feel I need to have the “clueless type”, Kanchigai-Gata. According to the definition I found, this type of character in a romance would be the one to think: “He gave me an eraser… this must mean he loves me!”

The guy who I feel is my physical type, but who would also totally be Kanchigai-Gata?

5. IMMORTAL TATSU from Gokushufudō: The Way of the House Husband


I feel like Tatsu would end up an accidental member of my harem. I mean, it’s totally in keeping with his character that I might say something totally random and he would think: “Ah, this is my new oyabun,” and follow me around forever.

At least that is my fondest hope.

I mean, this guy. I kind of hope I land him, after all. He’s pretty handy to have around the house and he makes a kick-a$$ bento.

Please someone else do this? I have to say thinking about this group of people all wandering around together kind of makes me a little giddy.


Haikyu!! (Vols. 1 & 2) by Haruichi Furudate

This is another anime that I love that I decided to read a manga.

Cover image of Haikyu!! Volume 1

Sports is not a thing that usually gives me Feels.

In Real Life ™, I tend to find sports very boring. I would rather watch grass grow or paint dry than sit though football or soccer or baseball (live or on TV).  Plus, sports kind of traumatize me, generally. I was a nerd all through high school. Participation in gym was required and so I suffered through it. Gym was always the one class this A-student was perpetually on the verge of failing.  I always the worst at everything, always picked the very, very last because absolutely no one wanted me on their team.  When Calvin of “Calvin & Hobbes” described gym class as “state-sponsored terrorism,” I felt a deep kinship.

Thus, it shocks me how much I love this manga.





I should definitely hate Hinata, Haikyu!!‘s main character.  Often described as freakishly athletic, he’s nothing like me–well, outside of being short, but his character profile puts him at 5’4″ which is two inches taller than I am. He’s the kind of jock for whom the sport is LIFE.

But, Hinata is SUCH a shounen hero, I can’t help but love him.

Hinata is spellbound after catching a glimpse of a high school player called “The Tiny Giant” in passing on a TV in the window of an electronics shop. After that point, he pursues his goal relentlessly. Very shounen.

Hinata is so shounen, he’s even prone to giving in-game speeches to rally his teammates like this: “Listen, the most important thing to remember about volleyball is that EVERYBODY on this side of the net is your ally. NO EXCEPTIONS!”  Which, because Hinata isn’t actually that smart, is literally something he’d been told by one of the upperclassman not five minutes ago. But, that’s the thing about Hinata: if you tell him a thing, he BECOMES it.

Like a good shounen hero, Hinata (or the entire team) will also get power-ups as needed during critical moments during a game.  When Mason and I were first watching this anime, Mason mocked the heck out of this trope.  He was actually almost a little turned off by how over-the-top some of this shounen stuff gets.  Me? I ate it up!

Plus, look at these action shots!

Interior panel: Haikyu!!


Aitsu! (That guy!) Am I right?

But, what I love about Hinata is that, outside of these natural bursts of athleticism, he’s not actually very good at the game. He doesn’t really even understand all the rules, and certainly doesn’t have any sense of strategies.  Hinata has mostly been practicing on his own, because no one in middle school was as into volleyball as he was.

A classic rivalry is set up when Hinata manages to get enough of a team together to play in a middle school tournament.  It’s a disaster.  Especially since they’re up against the team who has a naturally gifted “setter,” Kageyama.  Kageyama has the nickname “King of the Court,” but for all the wrong reasons. It should mean that he’s the star, but his teammates all see him as a greedy tyrant who wants everything done his way. Even so, Kageyama’s team wipe the floor with Hinata’s.

Hinata vows to get better, because all he wants is to spend time in the game!

Of course, when high school rolls around, Hinata and Kageyama find themselves as teammates.  A good portion of the first volume is them figuring out how to be allies, instead of enemies.

Can I admit something?

I’m enough of a sap that when we learn Kageyama’s origin story (basically he became such a tyrant that no one was there when he set up the ball) and Hinata vows to ALWAYS BE THERE, I might have teared up a little bit.


Look, I sign up for shounen because this is what I want. I want people fighting together, for each other, and giving it their all, and making vows to ALWAYS BE THERE, and Haikyu!! might be a little over-the-top melodramatic in its shounen-ness but that’s LITERALLY what I want from shounen.

Bring it!