Negima Mangaka Ken Akamatsu: “Moe & Harems are Dead”

love-hina-bikini-harem-by-ken-akamatsu.png

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…


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    Comment by Anonymous
    12:56 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I noticed a trend of all kinds of entertainment is dying after 2010 and slowly began after the year 2000.

    IMO on this though I like when main characters aren't such perverted lame horn dogs and that moe is dying, it's for the better.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:36 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The year of yuri certainly sounds better than the year of the rat.

    Avatar of PirateKing
    Comment by PirateKing
    13:49 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Not really. yuri is crap...

    Avatar of Evil Santa, Has Come To Town
    10:10 25/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    are you sure, you belong here ?

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    09:13 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If you look at love hina, harem was finished when it was released >.<

    Avatar of brningpyre
    Comment by brningpyre
    09:16 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    But there have been so many successful harem anime since then...

    Not saying that's a good thing, but the harem genre was definitely successful for quite a while.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:48 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Actually, I think it's because most (Not all, but most) harem anime eventually dissolve into the same shit; All the girls want the spineless and/or perverted hero for no real reason other than he exists, the one girl who's super mean to him falls for him and they get together, fill in extra space with questionable situations and panty shots as needed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:55 07/10/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You don't know shit about harem. How can you say that about the dude from Love Hina, or Tenshi, or the guy from strawberry 100%. By the end of Love Hina the guy was an indestructibly kung fu indiana jones. Tenshi was super powerful. In Strawberry, the guy was an artist that made three very good student films.

    These type of shounen protaganist tend to be slightly better then most shoujo ones, they're braver for one.

    A harem is like every girlfriend a person would ever have at once, which makes picking a person's love stand out more. Or it's a comedy that practically does make fun of romance in a nice lighthearted way.

    Harems in that sense are just a subgenre of regular shounen romance. So I think even if it takes a break, it'll come back. Then again the latest crop have been moving away from noble guys. The audience might be what would make harems not work. Their much more jerkass and perverted, plus alot of them think in terms of dating games. So maybe the entire romance genre might die or mutate.

    Avatar of Ushiromiya Reiji
    Comment by Ushiromiya Reiji
    11:54 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yep, completely right.
    Now, it's like just milking a dead cow.

    Avatar of YakomoFujikawa
    Comment by YakomoFujikawa
    10:24 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The problem is that no one is coming up with any fresh ideas. Its almost like a formula which uses too many cliches, therefore making it dull and uninteresting. a lot of harem titles seem to have some sort of potential, but it is never well used and ends up tossed to make way for all the fanservice and when the animation staff realizes it, they've gone through almost the whole series with nothing but pointless episodes so then they try something, but its too late by then. and EVERY harem anime title never does things other animes do like develop characters enough or idk...a plot? But a man once said: its a lot easier said than done...

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:23 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I think there is still plenty of light novel titles with cool male characters..or that they still makes an entrance...it just that female-only title are more popular nowadays..because certain sections of otaku are soo obsessive that characters cannot have male character in the story that will take their "waifu" away....

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:18 26/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I don't see how #3 could possibly be a bad thing. And anime in general needs more male characters.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:41 25/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Ken Akamatsu's point is very crystal clear: MOE ANIME AND HAREM only catered to man children...

    Anime why can't you grow-up?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:56 28/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "The number of male fans who simply don’t view female characters as objects of sexual desire at all is increasing,"

    I see nothing wrong with this.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:36 27/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    To quote an episode title of another moe/harem series:

    "Noo~! Why did it die?!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:10 25/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Now is a perfect time for a resurgence of the Mecha genre. Macross Frontier did well enough. Though the last Gundam was a little of a let down.

    The Manga/Anime industry needs more stories with strong and interesting adult characters again. Maybe they could make something like Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy BeBop, Slayers.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:15 25/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Funny how this turned into an Negima discussion ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:49 25/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Personally, I agree with Mr. Akamatsu. I miss those days with some shows with a male as a protagonist, like Mospeada, Mazinger, Saint Seiya, Macross, Hokuto no Ken etc... The fanservice nowdays is too saturated and I don't feel that particular exitement by seeing some nipples out by a pretty cute girl as before. Just like they said "If you eat pizza all the time (pizza is delicious) you'll get bored of it" My point is if we rest sometime of ecchi stuff. At the chance to see another one it will be exciting again. That's my opinion.

    Avatar of Evil Santa, Has Come To Town
    10:16 25/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Moe and harem is dead ? HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you sir is crazy, you may hardly see harems now adays but it is there and not to mention moe is almost everywhere it may decline since K-On! is ending but it won't die.

    I do wish though that they create a harem anime and not make the guy a spinless pussy or a moral pussy, i want the male lead with a actual backbone and actually interested in sex, sheesh and please I beg PLEASE don't have the main girl always hitting him, atleast give him moves to dodge and avoid and make fun.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:08 25/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    and the most important thing

    -> there is no adult people

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:17 25/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I can't imagine how #3 can be a bad thing. And I haven't exactly seen a harem anime that's outstanding or anything.

    On a side note, anime in general needs more male characters.

    Avatar of ⛔ БОSS ⛔
    Comment by ⛔ БОSS ⛔
    08:09 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    This is what you get when you let women read manga

    (JK - Pleasedontkillme)

    Avatar of DirtyPair
    Comment by DirtyPair
    08:46 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    My girlfriend back in 1991 introduce me in manga/anime so it isn´t always bad to let women read some manga or watch some anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:39 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Sell your Moe and Hare'm's overseas. See how the popularity rises ^^

    Avatar of Schrobby
    Comment by Schrobby
    08:48 25/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Something else rises as well. ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:59 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I loved that -- "unfortunately, I get the feeling the popularity of yuri is not quite that great..."

    Despite his being one of the harem/moe gods, his comments seem so reasonably-stated that I believe he's flexible enough to come up with something other than harem/moe, and I'm curious to see what it might be.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:47 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well, it better be dead, I am honestly very sick and tired of it. Sure, 1 or 2 every season is fine, but for the love of god, everything is all moe and harem now.

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    05:45 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well, despite that hack's best effort to kill it, it seems to be chugging on stronger than ever - he's just changing the definitions. Kampfer is a yuri-ish harem show.

    I wouldn't mind if things got dialed back to the modesty of the 90's, but really it sounds like he's shooting his mouth off because he fancies himself the alpha and omega of harem manga and has run out of ideas.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:48 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    he is the alpha.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:53 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and the omega

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:27 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and the iota

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:28 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and the delta

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:28 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and the epsilon

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:26 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and zeta

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:10 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and the beta

    Avatar of kajunbowser
    Comment by kajunbowser
    06:14 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and the gamma.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:33 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Believe in the sign of Zeta~!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:29 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and the upsilon

    Avatar of DirtyPair
    Comment by DirtyPair
    08:25 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    And don´t forget the sigma.

    Avatar of Tenshi
    Comment by Tenshi
    06:47 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    isnt he? its ken fucking akamatsu. if he dont know whats what with harems, than idk who the fuck does? certainly not you. though he might be overreacting a bit. and kampfer was garbage (coming from a guy who loves pantsu witches, so dont say i dont love fan service)

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    08:54 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Masaki Kajishima, Tatsuya Egawa, Satoru Akahori, to name a few who likely taught him his craft... I liked Love Hina until it was basically chaos each chapter -Negima seems no better; it's like Scooby Doo + AKB48.
    Harem anime was once funny, entertaining, even original. Love Hina started good, then seemed to have lost his ability to write coherently; maybe he took acid or something... By the end it was a dreamlike blur with the plot totally changing every couple pages.

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    11:21 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well, this is fun - any time I get flamed, my replies fall into an abyss, so let's try this again...

    There's Masaki Kajishima, Tatsuya Egawa, Satoru Akahori... even Rumiko Takahashi or Kosuke Fujishima. You know, the many authors who were already doing it successfully before Akamatsu even published a story. To go by title, I'd say Haruhi, Higurashi, FSN, and Sakura Wars show him up pretty handily - even Mahoraba would.

    I liked Love Hina for a while, but by the end it was just chaotic random nonsense, and Negima picked up that torch, but dropped the depth in favor of being Scooby Doo + AKB48. At least Kampfer pokes fun at how absurd it is, instead of "wait- it's not what it looks like- I can explain- *is smashed through the roof again*" Takahashi kind of beat that gag to death back in the late 80s/early 90s.

    I'll applaud Strike Witches for having a plot though; that's getting too rare now. I can't watch it because it manically flips between being a kids' show and showing a gratuitous ass/camel toe closeup every 10 seconds, but next to Akamatsu at the end of Love Hina and start of Negima, it's practically Ghibli.

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    10:04 28/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I have the first 3 English volumes. I was waiting for it to find its groove, but it seems like random adventure hijinks... the crux of Scooby Doo, only with so many girls it's... absurd.

    I also really liked Love Hina until it went off the rails.

    Comment by Anonymous

    "Scooby Doo + AKB48"

    Admit it. You don't really read it much. Just the first volume, I reckon.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:52 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    All sound points.
    I wouldn't resume them as " Ken says moe and harem are dead" though.
    The boom is just over and now things are getting more stable.
    Regarding harem though, he seems partially right.
    The very basic harem might very well be dead but it can still be felt in other genres.
    The guy with many girls isn't going anywhere is just not the main target of the lonely guys. Action and fanservice oriented titles will still work with that formula.

    Avatar of DirtyPair
    Comment by DirtyPair
    05:43 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I would like some titels with real character building and an good plot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:38 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i have some pretty cool dreams i should write down

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:10 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's time to anime industry look to another schools of storytelling, like the american live-action series ( lost, Supernatural, True blood , Rome, Breaking Bad)

    what i most liked in anime is the capacity of make an animation has the same feeling of an blockbuster movie or series. specially with competent scenery illustration and amazing orchestrated songs !!!

    . . .

    . . .

    Moe is becoming an disease , . . .

    . . .

    we need an cure . . . Soon !

    Avatar of kajunbowser
    Comment by kajunbowser
    09:17 01/09/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Riiiight... so fugly should be next?

    Do not want in my anime or manga.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:49 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    And again Prophets of apocalipse are bawwwing over their works not selling well how surpringsly.

    What about Bakemonogatari? It IS a harem.

    Avatar of Peter Barton
    Comment by Peter Barton
    05:25 24/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I can see them on the decline, and not many future titles following the formula again for a good while. The current batch that are popular will continue, just don't expect 20 new series that are of the same style pop up every year.









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