Question how many members of a harem is too much

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by mja, Nov 10, 2017.

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how many is too many

  1. 2

    31 vote(s)
    18.1%
  2. 3

    15 vote(s)
    8.8%
  3. 4

    23 vote(s)
    13.5%
  4. 5

    30 vote(s)
    17.5%
  5. 5s

    14 vote(s)
    8.2%
  6. 6+

    21 vote(s)
    12.3%
  7. x

    19 vote(s)
    11.1%
  8. to infinity and beyond

    57 vote(s)
    33.3%
  9. GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS YOU CIS GENDERED CHAUVINISTICK WHITE MALE PIG

    28 vote(s)
    16.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Rakiin

    Rakiin Pokemon Slave Trader

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    7 is max.

    if you have 8+ you might neglect some, one day for each is nice.

    6 is also fine, free day or to look for some fun elsewhere.
     
  2. Gin

    Gin Member

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    More than 3 and it starts getting unfocused and stupid.
     
  3. Midnight Rain

    Midnight Rain I'm crazy for claiming a crazy girl as my wife~

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    nice thinking dude.. i totally approve of this!
     
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  4. ioriangel

    ioriangel 『Terrible Kitsune Oneesan』『Stabber』

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    2 girls, more than this make it too complicated
     
  5. Shance

    Shance 『D'aaaaaaw』

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    Not gonna say it's perfect, but try this story with an acceptable harem.
    I was reincarnated as a Magic Academy!
     
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  6. otaku31

    otaku31 Well-Known Member

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    Harem size, eh? In my humble opinion, two is one too many.
     
  7. Xilphidae

    Xilphidae ⚔Swordfish⚔

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    it's too much if you start screwing up the names
     
  8. Galison

    Galison Member

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    Realisticly 7 is likely max and thats so you can spend 1 day with each but thats a little much 5 may be doable giving some breaks personally though I like Rudis 3 member harem seems like over all a good number.
     
  9. Liger01

    Liger01 Well-Known Member

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    Your missing a limb! I'm sorry for your loss:blobsad:.
     
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  10. igiveup

    igiveup Active Member

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    3-5 'core wives'
    X mistresses

    More in-depth though, depends. Like in To Love Ru, all the girls are hot and developed enough that you'd want Rito 2 get with at least 10+, and you'd feel disappointed if they didn't get with him.

    It depends on how likable the girls are, and the 'events' that the MC has with them. If the MC sets off enough flags, and the girls are likable enough, why not 10+ or even 20+ or even 30+.
     
  11. Anikiman

    Anikiman Active Member

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    The question is: how many harem members do you need to keep the story going?
    In many novels harem members are more like trophies than actual characters, hence there is no meaning to their existence. If the harem member won't even add up as a motivation for the MC, then they are unnecessary.
    My final answer: unlimited, as long as their appearance makes any sense and they don't suddenly disappear from the story.
     
  12. zarvi

    zarvi Ojisan

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    As many as you want
    As long as the heroines will really play a role in the story, have a character and not just a one time then forget. Those kind of novels where heroines are just decoration just to show how protag is an alpha are same level shit to beta protags who got ntred for being a puss. they should never have introduced heroines in the first place.
     
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  13. StuffedDuck

    StuffedDuck Stuffed with Fluff

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    If the girls are too much then your MC just is not man enough ... you're MC should work on his manliness ...
     
  14. Okuri Ookami

    Okuri Ookami 'Chi Chi Chi' calls the Sparrow

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    No I wasn't talking about that. I went a little off topic but I meant that I wanted everyone to love the MC but my preference was what you were talking about a polyamorist relationship. In both cases I believe there should be a limit of only 4 members excluding the MC to be able to give attention and affection equally.

    My true feelings towards harems and polyamory is that there is one head and the others focus on him/her as the love target but its my preference that the women can have none lasting relationships with other women outside of the relationship with the male lead. That being said that would never happen in a Chinese novel. It may be hybrid of the two and I wouldn't know how to define it.
     
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  15. lohwengk

    lohwengk Active Member

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    If you're the author, then the number depends on how YOU define a harem, and how that (the concept of harem itself AND the members thereof) fits into your story. Think about it clearly, then craft your story to fit that in.

    If you ask your readers, you're going to get all kinds of nonsense. I've seen stories which critics call "harem" just because the MC is male and 20 girls/women happen to get mentioned in passing. I've also seen stories tagged "harem" just because there's an extra girl (or two) chasing after the guy who is in a stable relationship and has no interest in any other girl besides his girlfriend. I've also seen that tag on stories where the MC only seeks one night stands, stories where the MC is saving girls left and right but moving on without forming any romantic bonds with them as well as stories where the MC is a permanent bachelor and the girls have a one sided crush on him.

    You could argue that these aren't real harems and I would agree. But there are still people who insist that these are harems. At the very least, they insist on tagging these stories as harems. Should you listen to them?

    There are also real harems where the members (many or even all of the) don't play a part in the stories, e.g. the Imperial-style harem someone already mentioned, or the collectible "I want to catch them all" harem as well. Many people dislike these types of harem, me included. But I have to admit that there is sometimes a place for this kind of harem in the story. However, you (the author) will have to make it clear that there is no romance in this kind of harem. Don't pull a bait and switch. IMO, the harem in Magika Kenshi to Shoukan Maou is something like this. The author starts off giving us the impression that it's going to be a romantic harem - at the start, the MC cares about those girls and properly takes care of them. But by the middle of the story, once the MC has his way with them (sweet-talking, kissing and fondling the girls and cementing their feelings for him), he pretty much ignores them to go after the next girl(s) and only goes back if his rating starts dropping. I felt cheated and dropped the story after volume 7.

    The Yun Che style harem is fine. It is pretty clear from early on that he's a scumbag who's only collecting girls, no matter how the author tries to spin it. Once I realized that it is a Pokemon-type harem and the MC was only out to satisfy his (or the author's) ego, I dropped the story.

    I somewhat liked the big harem in Martial Odyssey. The MC was flawed by decent and the author put quite some work into the girls, too. But I had to drop it because the cast got too big. The dozen over girls were all important, and they kept on being fleshed out more and more. But there were too many of them, and I kept on forgetting who was who. Too much of a good thing is also no good.

    The Negima harem is also fine. There are obviously some main girls, with a bunch of other hangers-on. The main girls are fleshed out a lot, while the extras are only fleshed out a little bit, though some of them, like Mana, played quite a large part at the end of the story. The harem in Sevens is also more or less in this style. There is a main plot in the story. The main girls are involved in it and help drive the story along while the extra girls are somehow or other dragged into it. And all these girls just happen to be interested in the MC and then become part of his "harem."

    In the end, it is up to you, as the author, to decide. What is the genre of your story? Who is your target audience? What is your MC's character/personality? Who are the supporting characters and which of them are female? How do they drive the plot? How do they fit in the plot? Is the harem an important point in the plot? E.g. the story is about the MC trying to create his harem. Is the "harem" driving the story? E.g. in Konosuba, a big part of the comedy is driven by the MC's relationship with his female party members.
     
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  16. Shio

    Shio Mochi with ears Staff Member

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    There's never too much, as long as the plot is ok. Banging one chick casually to get info is ok, married another girl then decided to leave her is ok too. 11+ girl is also ok.

    Number of character is never the problem. Author's ability to wrote the character and plot is what's important
     
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  17. Fluffums

    Fluffums Well-Known Member

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    The limit is "how many characters can you juggle in a story?" The best-written harem novel I can think of has... 8 harem members, they don't all know about each other, and each one has a unique personality and relationship with the main character. If you're writing dialogue and realize that two harem members act exactly the same way with the main character, you should consider rewriting one of them a bit.

    I have nothing against one-night stands or a MC being a playboy jerk and dumping a girl after he gets with her as long as it's relevant to the main story and not just something like "I want to write a fling with a busty redhead". If you have that urge... write that as a separate story and put it aside until you can think of a story it will actually fit into (or just leave it as a short story of its own).
     
  18. brasca123

    brasca123 『Hell's Trainee Manager』

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    As others already said, any amount is fine, as long as you can develop the characters properly, it's okay.
     
  19. Viator

    Viator [Confused Dreamer][Cult of Pyoo: Pyoo's Oak Tree]

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    Four is pushing it, but still doable. Five and everything unravels. Three is generally the magic number.
     
  20. lohwengk

    lohwengk Active Member

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    True, this is also one type of story. On its own, it is not a story I would read. But if their hijinks help drive the story (with comedy) as in To Love Ru, I'd certainly read it.

    Harem members who don't contribute to the story can still contribute as part of worldbuilding. For example, their mere existence might show that political marriage into the King's harem is part of the world's reality. Though I admit it is a waste that they merely exist passively without helping drive the story more actively.

    Sometimes, the disappearance of a harem member can help drive the story. But if she only got mentioned once or twice previously, the author had better give her more screentime going forward, e.g. by having the MC or other more active harem members remember their time with her. It probably needs to be done with some subtlety, otherwise it could come off as mere ham-handed retconning.

    IRL, there are many people with similar personalities, but in a story this is a "no go."

    IMO, that "I want to write a fling with a busty redhead" is fine if the author can frame it in a way that illustrates something. E.g. the MC's poor personality/morality or that one-time flings are common in that world (even in real life, there have been several eras of "free love.")