Ken Akamatsu, the mangaka behind such classic harem titles as Negima and Love Hina, has stated that both harem and moe titles seem to have had their day.
Responding to the results of industry research into the state of the anime market suggesting that the formerly dominant position of moe and late-night anime has declined precipitously, he sums up his thoughts on the state of the market:
Certainly, the moe boom is finished, and from last year on I think we’re seeing the following phenomena:
1. Male protagonists are absent
Many anime are now nothing but girls, and the role of the “male character being excited by female characters for viewers to empathise with” has disappeared.
2. Male buying power has reduced
Now women buyers of both anime and manga are predominant. Oricon comic rankings show most of the top titles are women-oriented.
3. Male viewers can now empathise with female characters
The number of male fans who simply don’t view female characters as objects of sexual desire at all is increasing, even in titles like “K-ON!”. No more are they just thinking “I want to be part of that circle,” now they are getting into the characters themselves.
A friend of mine was saying “this will be the year of yuri!” thanks to number 3, but unfortunately I get the feeling the popularity of yuri is not quite that great…