Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG' started by Paul Bellow, Jul 18, 2018.
I wish I could SUPER like this. BURN THEM WITH FIRE!
My frustration comes from finding what could be a LitRPG then being surprised by the harem aspect because it wasn't in the synopsis at all. It's simply not something I'm interested in. I don't even like the classic YA love triangle. blah. If your gonna show love show something worth writing about. Not to say there isn't a place for erotica. It just needs to be marketed as such. (i can't express how tired I am of searching for 'LitRPG' novels and finding more and more novels that have zero 'rpg' aspects. rawr /rant)
The thing with harem anime and such is that, yeah, a lot of it is visual. But there are also distinct personalities to each of the girls, and the focus is on them rather than the MC. There's also at least an attempt made at character building and development - whether that's done through flashbacks, dedicated episodes, or what have you - that's completely missing from harem LitRPG.
The trend in harem LitRPG seems to be cardboard cutouts for everyone involved. And in the case of the MC, it's even worse - he's generally a blank cardboard cutout. People are focusing on the entirely wrong things and basing their writing on that same flawed interpretation of the genre while trying to build blank MCs that readers can self-insert into. Basically, until people start realizing that good harems are about personalities and developing relationships, harem LitRPG is going to remain a dumpster fire. Except instead of burning up the garbage and getting rid of it, it's a reverse fire that spontaneously generates even more garbage. You can already see the impact it's having on the genre; just go to Amazon and search for LitRPG. See exactly how many hits you get that aren't pulpy harem trash novels.
I should write a harem LitRPG and try to make it good. Hell, maybe I should make it so that my protagonist is initially one of the harem and eventually fucks his/her way to the top, as per that reddit post.
So basically, a harem LitRPG about becoming a reddit moderator?
My problem with harem books is when they involve whiny little idiots as the protagonist. The kind that are all whining and going on endlessly about how they feel guilty, or should they be doing this, or blah blah blah. If you're going to do a harem, just jump in with it, and accept it for what it is, and don't spend 11+ books with a harem of girls that all REALLY want to have sex with you, and you call yourself a pervert, and yet you don't get past second base the whole time? (Looking at you, High School DxD, Campione, and others!)
But I'm just a writer of villainous gamelit, rather than the heroic types, so...
Actually the good harem anime does that. Those don't even feel like harem because the focus is on the character arch not the we love MC part (although it's there) but they are rare. Off the top of my head I can only think of fruit basket where it was all about character development, facing your demons and accepting yourself good and bad.
Also fushii yuugi which is an Alice in wonderland but with ancient Chinese mythology. The setting steals the spotlight but also they focused a lot on human emotions and interacts leaving the harem aspect to the background.
You are correct. Thing is because visual appeal doesn't translate well into words most of them just end up as Miss perfect just with different bust sizes (all above DD mind you) and even the cardboard cut out of "personality" is gone by book two. Any of the women could easily step in another's shoes and you wouldn't even notice.
So your problem with harem is too much angst not enough sex? You sure you want to keep reading litrpg?
Yep. That's why I think when something is labeled as "harem", it kinda means "bad harem". When it's harem done well, it's a "good story" (and only when you stop to think about it you realize it's a harem)
I take it to mean: "Don't read this trash."
OMG you're like my double. YA love triangles sort of piss me off. Especially when they have to save the world but there's room for 5 pages of umming and ahhing over which love interest to pick.
And yeah - if I know it has harem in it, the book obviously isn't for me. And that's perfectly fine, I just won't read it. But I do get irritated if there's no hint of it in the blurb and I inadvertently encounter it. I might hate it, but since it's not my cup of tea, I would never rate a book badly for having it -- mainly because I just wouldn't read it in the first place.
Nah, it is the whiny angst from MCs that gets me. Make a decision, go with it, and own it. If your decision is to have a harem, don't constantly go around whining about it.
I'll just use an example from one of my books. In my 'Into the Black' books, the MC has a harem that is mostly slave girls. That isn't to say sex is a major part of the story. It comes up now and then, sure, and there are shades of Captain Kirk in his behavior, but his biggest complaint is about how he has to keep putting more points in Stamina and has 5x the work to do keeping the girls happy, but that's mostly just griping when someone asks about his life, and he doesn't actually angst over it.
That's true. Though there is something to be said about an author that doesn't indicate their harem fic as a harem fic. Like they might be trying to get more downloads/reads of their novel before someone catches on. and YES YA love triangles are the worst. I'm not a fan of love triangles in general. But I get it. Sometimes there are options. Handle it by ...IDK *talking* to the other person. TBH if someone I was interested in was interested in me and someone else I'd probably bow out. See ya later. It's not worth all that drama. I suppose some people see that as 'not fighting for your man', but as I see it if he was my man to begin with there would be no fight to be had. It's a bunch of messing around with peoples emotions and I hate reading about it. (says the girl who read Twilight atleast 24 times..in a row).
I dislike that as well. The 'surprise' harem. That's actually how I read the first Tamer books. It didn't say "harem" (or if it did, I must have missed it) and it wasn't too bad in the first books, but by book 2-3, it was just harem stuff and I was totally bored. I probably wouldn't even have touched it if I realized the whole focus was the MC eventually getting a dozen hot alien wimmenz with huge chests into his bed. Just not my thing.
not only not my thing but I'm much more interested in character development. Now that I started reading LitRPG I've become even more interested. I want skills, talents, perks, professions, and abilities. I need magic!!!
Traditional harem isn't really my thing, but my laundry list of things that will never happen that would make me read a harem LitRPG:
- Distinct personalities, as stated above, and women with their own goals beyond serving the MC's whims.
- An actual poly relationship, with everything that entails.
- An MC who isn't just a self-insert for the reader.
- A reason for the harem aspect to exist that doesn't completely objectify the women involved.
Never gonna happen, but hey.
ETA: Also if we're talking things I want that will never happen, I want to see a romance subplot handled better than "he was a guy, she was a girl, can I make it anymore obvious."
So, here's a question... What exactly makes it a harem (reverse or otherwise)? Two partners? Three? Do they all have to fall madly in love and be in a relationship at the same time? Or can the MC just have more than one person they care about and have slept with, but not necessarily have them follow them around?
I'm asking because I'm wondering how harem differs from A) polyamorous and B)just plain sleeping around? It's not a kink I've really done a lot of research in and heck, I think I've only read the few LitRPG books that could be called "harem" so I'm not really sure what the "rules" of the niche are?
Harem means you have a multitude of lovers (at least three) following around one (1) mate to gain their affection. They all join in on sexual activities with that particular mate, though the mate will typically choose which one they prefer at the end.
On some level, I'm not at all surprised harems are a thing in litRPG. Whenever discussions of VR/FIVR come up, either the first or second thing that is mentioned is "sex". Not always. Some people will prefer other experiences. I'm one of those who probably wouldn't use VR for sex very much at all unless robotics never advance far enough/I don't find a decent lover IRL, but I know that many others will immediately go "god-king with a planet-sized harem of überfrauen."
So in some way, the excess of harem litRPG shows us exactly what we should expect come fifteen to twenty years down the line.
So basically to be a "Harem" book you need...
1) at least three people interested in the MC ( I assume normally opposite sex, but I'm sure there's mixed or same sex in the niche, even if I haven't seen it in LitRPG just yet)
2) those 3 (or more) are focused on the MC and stay with them/follow them/etc.
3) They all have sex (or at least want to?) with the MC, but not always together (as in it could be a one-on-one or threesome/foursome/whateversome)
The few Harem ones I've seen normally ends up with the MC not choosing in my limited experience in the LitRPG ones. Normally it's the male MC who ends up with multiple women who all just happily share him. So does it end up with the MC choosing a "mate" (wife/husband/whatever) and then NOT being involved with the others? Or is it more a "this is my official wife/husband, but I'm still banging the rest"?
Probably dumb questions, but the animes I watched weren't of the harem varieties. I was more into things like Vampire Hunter D and darker ones, or ones like DBZ.