Harems and face slapping/respect gets too much flak

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Rhaelbarnes, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Rhaelbarnes

    Rhaelbarnes Member

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    First I want to talk about the harem tag in novels and how it gets too much undeserved flak. I understand some people don't like harem or polygamy due to personal morals such as being monogamous that is forced to us by our community from a young age. I won't be referring to these kind of people in this thread. I would be referring to those that think that harem=bad character development. If in a novel the harem participants have 2d personalities and with passage of time they get put on some self like they are a collectible item , you don't blame the harem tag. Rather you blame the author for failing to make acceptable characters. I don't remember the harem tag allowing you to not have character development or 3 dimensional characters. I doubt if said author wrote a story without the harem tag he would any better. He would still fail to make any decent characters with the only difference there might be is that it would be harder to spot. I believe people should flame those that need to flamed (authors that don't know how to make proper characters) and not put blame where is undeserved.

    I hear and read constantly how stupid it is to kill or punish someone who face slapped or ruined your reputation when similar or worse things happen irl. People project their modern day values on a completely different society that has completely different needs and values. Cultivators puprsue immortality , so how they are viewed towards fellow cultivators or the general public is important. Literally in our modern day society most people act how they act in the pretense that they need to be viewed in a certain way. Mega corporations donate money to the poor so they can act like they help humanity when they actually want to divert attention from their shady actions. Individuals do selfless acts not because they are saints but because they want to become popular or loved. When you go and shatter that image what do you think will happen ? They are gonna thank you ? They most likely will get back at you. In a dog eats dog world killing an "enemy" is one of the most common acts and in a lot of cases it can be considered merciful towards the individual compared to other options. A lot of these points is portrayed rather well in Astral Pet Store. Cultivators demand respect from those weaker than them because a) they are protecting them from general harm (beasts), b) in order to reach a certain cultivation realm and you don't have a rare heaven defying talent means you have put a lot of effort and you have withstood quite a bit of pain. So having someone come and disregard your effort and hardships in front of your peers without retaliation is hard to imagine. Usually the easiest way to retaliate is through death (as any other option is usually not worth it due to lower strength unless you have a treasure) if he is of lower strength or doing something humiliating (like lowering one's head) if of same strength. So stop projecting morals or practices on a completely different society as if they are perfect or the correct way of doing things as I last checked we are still divided and fight over silly things when we could advance as a species.
     
  2. Rohit2001

    Rohit2001 Member

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    yeah! i agree with you completely...!!
     
  3. Hamski

    Hamski Well-Known Member

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    Mate I get what you are saying but I am pretty sure most people are just venting because they are sick and tired of characters having 0 personality and novels defaulting to arrogant young masters and face slapping instead of writing an actual plot.

    Still, you aren't wrong the tags themselves are not the problem. It's just that novels with these tags suffer from the above nearly 100% of the time
     
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  4. Superioreos

    Superioreos Well-Known Member

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    Look, I am a huge fan of harem and face slapping series, but the majority of those series are honestly bad... I read them, I like them, but I am under no impression that they are genres/tags with a high average quality. There are some really good harem series, there are a few good face-slapping series (I personally don't think many wuxia or xianxia series are genuinely good, but I really love them), but the majority are terribly written. You could say the same thing about isekai, most isekai series are absolute garbage, I read a ton of them, but most are bad. The few that are good are not enough to wipe the public image of the genre being a dumpster fire.



    Of course you shouldn't generalize, each series should be judged individually etc... but humans generalize, it is what we do. I am not happy when people do it (and end up complaining about things I like), but I am not going to be surprised or make a big deal about it (because I absolutely generalize about things I don't like, I'm a human, I'm a hypocrite).

    However, I do have an issue with people rating harem series or other series poorly simply due to its contents. I don't read yaoi, I also hate NTR. But I am not going to give 1/10 to a series which has that in it which I chose to read without first checking the tags. People who do that really suck.
     
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  5. Deadrulevk

    Deadrulevk Member

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    Yes , you are absolutely right as many people here and even on other reading sites give bad reviews to a novel/book just cause they have harem tag .
    They all generalize people who read These books as degenerate and virgin losers lol...there was someone idk his name but that guy always give very bad reviews in harem novels and write idiotic things like only incels will like this or this disrespect women....I mean it's just a story right?
    I do not like bl, yuri and ntr but I will not actively go to those story and give bad reviews and talk bullshit just cause they are tagged as such...
    Streotyping is very bad , also I admit I read harem stories ...some of em are really bad but some are really good too depends on the skill of the author
    And same goes for single pairings as well ,it can be shitty and good all based on author ...
    Writing a harem can be hard as author have to write a seperate love story for every new member so some authors take the easy route...
    Stories like edgy revenge , comedy and harem are my guilty pleasure reading I could always relax by reading them ....and we'll novels are for escapism anyways ,
    Why do these people say it's not realistic and other stuff as having an MC cure cancer with effing acupuncture needles is not realistic too,but who cares ...
    Sorry for long rant but I feel this way too
     
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  6. otaku31

    otaku31 Well-Known Member

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    The term harem has acquired a negative connotation here due to so many novels misutilizing it. And it is near impossible for a word to be completely divorced from the connotation it carries. That said, from a technical viewpoint not all harem stories could be possibly atrocious and even if they were their readers shouldn't be criticized for their tastes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  7. UnGrave

    UnGrave I really like Nanahira

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    I just want to complain about bad stories I've stumbled upon. It's the same reason I say
    CN novels suck.
     
  8. Ddraig

    Ddraig Frostfire Dragon|Retired lurker|FFF|Loved by RNG

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    It is not the fault of the tag that viewers cannot be bothered to find decent reads. I can easily show trash for any of the tags (I mean just take a look at the NU's most popular list) - it is not like other tags have any better probability of being better on average.
    So no, not even the conclusion that nearly 100% of novels with specifically harem tag are trash is correct, rather most of the popular novels tend to bad at best (and really only become popular due to the fact that NU favours shorter chapter releases and shorter upload frequencies) and harem tag gets to be the sacrifice as it is an easy target to blame.
     
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  9. Sabruness

    Sabruness Cultured Yuri Connoisseur

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    half of the flak that harem cops is when it is woefully misused (ie dense beta eunuchs who collect girls ((who seem to lose their brains at the time)) like pokemon but dont do anything about it). that flak comes from the polygamy/true harem member (card carrying member right here).

    face slapping is a similar beast in that how it's played and written has a real bearing on whether it's good (for values of good) or bad. Some of the best face slapping novels i've read really just dont try to make it sound uber serious and instead have fun with it. in essence, they tend to be 'refuge in absurdity'.
     
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  10. Harry

    Harry You don't see me

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    Well, I'm a fan of harem too. I despise harem that has a story from unwanted harem into OTP ending. It's just like you buy ice cream chocolate, but when you eat it turns out the chocolate only the thin layer outside

    Why harem rated so bad, it because there is a lot of unnecessary element mixed together, just seeing this tags really makes me skip it; isekai + copy paste writing + game element + instant harem + POV changing every 5 minutes read + gacha + OP MC + dense MC.....

    Just imagine you read the story Otaku MC (alone and/or with few people or all classmates) suddenly isekai summoned to the sword&magic era kingdom that equivalent to our medieval age. The king say help us defeat the big boob/loli Maou (female) and surprisingly find MC (or another classmate) have SSS Rank Potential/Hero Job. Later the (female) highest ranking court magician admit defeat to mc/hero and become stupid, after changing pov turn out after defeat this stupid magician become infatuated and fall in love with mc/hero. After that there is warrior girl, knight girl, martial art girl, shinobi girl, witch girl, gacha girl, slave girl, noble girl, kemonomimi girl, devil girl, halfling girl, elf girl, orc girl and so on from the long list. All of them fall in love without reason (actually you dont need reason to fall in love but this is too many just like MC isekai-ed to the world end harem). And starting from slave girl, they will talk like this "Master can do everything", " as expected of Master"......
    Later if you find other harem novel you will realize #2, #3, maybe up to #50 will have same story/plot with only different actor
     
  11. Rhaelbarnes

    Rhaelbarnes Member

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    I forgot to mention that there are a lot of romance/monogamous novels where for some reason the author decided that having 5+ matching with sad stories love interests is a good idea. You have him put scenes where the mc has great chemistry and acts lovey dovey with the love interests without him picking one. What is even worst is that the authors usually keep continuing adding more love interests like he intends to make football teams out of them. These stories is equal in bad quality even worse than the harem pockemon collecting novels.

    What I wanted to conclude from this thread is that there are novels in which authors are forced to not write about harem or romance at all due to this nonsensical hate. This results in fewer decent or at least half-decent novels. Let's be real novels with no love interest or the slightest romance are lacking or unnatural as they force the mc to not have human relationships or be denser than a black hole.

    Most of today's novels either jp or korean (as they mostly deal with isekai , reincarnation , etc) if you remove the harem aspect of the story or not it will be the same garbage. Mc who goes from an otaku/hikimori to a super talented hero/swordsman/mage/archer or whatever and still be super social awkward for the whole novel. Have continuous inserts of non-fitting references and memes with the worst of all nationalism and strong racism.

    I admit that I also have quite a few guilty pleasures in the jp/korean genre but even then I only choose the cream of the crop or a novel that I won't be able to take seriously. For example there is I became a VIP as soon as I logged in where if you stop overthinking about most things , it is one of the best korean , system novels. There is some actual romance even though there is quite a bit of the unreasonable one , it is manageable and worthy of being a guilty pleasure.
     
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  12. Neigh

    Neigh "Lich-King" "Harem-Fan" "Tragedy-Hater"

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    Yeah really the Truth! I now read a few Novels on Webnovel, and you can almost forget the whole Rating/Star system of Webnovel.
    I did read a few novel on Webnovel that i didnt like midway, as there are many Novel where no Tags or not all Tags/Genres are listed on the

    Description of the Novel, with a Storyflow that i Dislike (Death of Lover), but i didnt give that Novel a Bad Rating/Review, as the Story was not Bad i just dislike the Genre.
    But there are many on Webnovel who give a the worst Review/Rating for a Novel, because they dont like a Genre, in many Cases Harem, even if the Author added the "Harem" Tag on the Description of the Novel.
    Do i give Yaoi or Yuri Novel a Bad Review because i dont like the Genre? No, because while i dont like the Genre and dont read the Novel i am very Sure that not a few of such Novel are good written and worth Reading, even if i dont read it.
     
  13. Nimroth

    Nimroth Someone

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    While I for the most part agree that it isn't inherently the harem itself that makes a lot of harem stories bad, I would still say that it is going too far in the other direction to say that it can't be a point of criticism.
    Not in the sense of harem=bad, but rather in the sense that the author went with more characters than they can handle, which isn't just a problem with harem stories, and can be just as much of a pacing problem as it is about character development.

    As for the second point, sure it can make some sense for characters to act ruthlessly like that and it could potentially be a "realistic" portrayal depending on the setting, that does not however mean that you should be judging the characters by their sense of morals and not your own.
    Sure you can if you want to, but personally I'm not going to find a character that kills people for mere insults all the time to be likeable, regardless of if it makes sense for the story or not.
    Doesn't necessarily mean that the story can't be enjoyable even with unlikeable characters though.
     
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  14. Fluffums

    Fluffums 【R-18 Researcher】【Seeker of Moe】

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    No tag is inherently good or bad, but everyone has their own tastes. If you find a tag consistently is annoying, sign in on the main page and filter the tag with "Release Filtering". No need to even see the stories that don't match what you're looking for, no need to rate them one star and give them a scathing review of "I hate this genre!", and no need to make threads in the forum about how much you hate them. You can just pretend they don't exist.

    Face-slapping is a bit harder since iirc there's no tag for it? But there's no real need for the tag because it almost only applies in CN novels and almost always applies in CN novels. Specifically, xianxia and xuanhuan genres. While I have seen plenty of examples in KR/JP novels, those are usually one-off things and not serial face-slappings, so wouldn't really need a tag there anyway.

    If you really, really, hate some kind of genre or trope and there's no tag for it, ask for a tag to be made so you can filter it. People who like that sort of thing would also want a tag, so everyone's happy then.
    Screenshot.png
     
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  15. DustySpiral

    DustySpiral New Member

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    When people complain about Face-Slapping it’s generally coming from one of two sources, and the OP only sort of talked about one of them.

    First Gripe: Lack of Good Villains / Overly Repetitive

    The most common gripe against Face-Slapping could be more accurately described as lamenting how the series lacks good antagonists and/or is overly repetitive. The novel is / has devolved into the MC mowing the lawn with each new weed (angry young master) flinging themselves at the lawnmower. Likewise, when a review praises a novel for not having any / not having much face-slapping they’re generally implying the MC faces more competent antagonists or at least a more of a *variety* of issues. Cultivation novels in particular tend to pad their length with tons and tons of face-slapping arcs. Readers tend to like the occasional face-slapping arc, tbh, it’s just that when you dump 10 canisters of salt into a soup it stops tasting good.

    Is face-slapping itself why the plot/writing isn’t very good? No. But it’s such a popular trend people generally understand what a reviewer means when they say there’s too much face-slapping. Most reviewers are not aiming to become professional literary critics, and as nice as it would be for all reviews to be carefully researched and edited masterpieces that isn’t going to change.

    Second Gripe: Hypocrisy

    On moral stances.. there are some people that rage about evil MCs, I’ll give you that. However, Reverend Insanity is a popular novel - people will read stories with MCs who’s morals do not align with their own. But RI never tries to convince you the MC is a good person, and the MC is like that from the start. When people are getting angry at especially petty face-slapping it’s often dealing with an MC that was themselves the underdog, and after gaining a bit of power they’ve become exactly like the very people they used to hate. This is then portrayed as being okay now because the MC is doing it, the novel itself taking the hypocritical stance.

    In other words, the moral rage is more a feeling that the MC has betrayed not just the reader’s values but more importantly the MC has betrayed *their own values*. Often without this shift being treated as a big deal by the novel. Perhaps it’d be better to call this extreme disappointment moreso than rage. Surprise shifts to harem (e.g. the previously devoted MC cheats and it magically works out) can also evoke this feeling.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  16. UnGrave

    UnGrave I really like Nanahira

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    From my perspective, novels without the slightest romance are the most realistic and I'm happy whenever I see them. Plus, it's totally understandable to get by with only acquaintances without really having close friends or lovers. Rather, I'd much prefer a story like that than having an author try to tell a story about love without having ever experienced it, as is the case with a lot of authors.
     
  17. Rhaelbarnes

    Rhaelbarnes Member

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    Novels where the MC has a legit reason for not having a romantic relationship and at the same time the rest of the components of the story are at least decent , are acceptable and quite a lot of times enjoyable from my point of the view. What I meant is that when you remove the romance from them , the author needs to do a better job at the different points of the story. That is because mistakes , plot holes , irregularities , etc are more noticeable and less bearable as they would be sticking like a sore thumb. This happens whenever you remove a part from a story , the rest become more noticeable and distinguishable. Also when the MC is a "normal" human being (as normal as an MC can be) or a being with similar characteristics , it is natural to seek a partner either to make a family or just to have someone close to you (a confidant and someone to create great moments with). It isn't easy for an author to find a plausible reason to deny a really close partner to the MC. Just wanting to grow strong isn't enough of a reason for me to remain celibate. The few "human" MCs that I can see that can get away with are the ones that turn into asexual one way or the other (like rimuru) or those that have already lived their lives and we see in the novel the "last" parts of their lives ( that is proportional to their life spans. For example said last parts could be decades that we see narrated). One last possibility is when we read in the novel such a short passage of time that romance wouldn't have mattered or wouldn't have been possible. I don't see how a person that lives a stressful life (let's accept cultivators and generally people in an action novel go through several stressful situations) not need to vent , have someone to share the burden or just be able to relax with them. To sum it up my problem is when the author forces the MC to remain single for no other reason than the author wants so. Literally you can give him a relationship and if you don't know how to write it properly have a classic meeting for them and have 90% of their interactions of "chapter"? . Then you can experiment with SS and input from the readers to slowly show the relationship more actively. You don't need to write the best romance just something acceptable.
     
  18. UnGrave

    UnGrave I really like Nanahira

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    Idk, the idea of romance being something "removed" from a story seems a bit foreign to me. I'd certainly say it's better to not have any romance in a story than putting in something half-assed based on reader feedback and common tropes though. Probably just a difference in taste I guess.
     
  19. maum.2412

    maum.2412 Active Member

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    Just recommend this two to anyone who say harem is bad...
    Umi no misaki manga
    Or https://www.novelupdates.com/series/chikyuu-tenseisha-no-koroshikata/
    Or
    Sevens

    Good harem always have 'Limit The Number' or 'Conflict leader among members', and its hard to write from an author who love his own delusion. sadly, Almost all harem author (and reader) just follow his own delusion