Once an engaging and impactful genre, harem anime has faced a downward trajectory. Despite standout titles like The Quintessential Quintuplets (TQQ), recent offerings have often fallen short, resorting to exploitative portrayals of female protagonists.
The harem genre’s popularity has waned, with only a few shows like Masamune-Kun Revenge R, In Another World With My Smartphone, and The Café Terrace and its Goddesses managing above-average performances.
The latest addition to this disappointing trend is TenPuru, a series that failed to meet audience expectations, despite its resemblance to TQQ and comedic approach.
This article delves into the reasons behind the harem genre’s decline, using TenPuru’s example to illustrate how its shortcomings are impacting the genre’s reputation. Read more about it in “TenPuru Is The Reason The Harem Genre Is Going Downhill – But It Didn’t Have To Be,” available now on Bigflix.
Excessive Fan Service: The Issue with TenPuru
Fan service is acceptable to a certain extent, as long as it doesn’t overshadow the story. Unfortunately, “TenPuru: No One Can Live on Loneliness” relies heavily on excessive fan service that often feels unnecessary. Nearly every scene is marred by derogatory remarks or contrived “accidental” moments of exposure.
While endearing awkwardness between the male and female lead can enhance a rom-com, TenPuru takes this trope to a nonsensical extreme.
The series follows Akagami Akemitsu, who, due to his father’s womanizing reputation, shuns all “worldly desires.” He believes any interaction with a girl could lead him down the wrong path. When he falls for Aoba Yuzuki, he chooses to become a monk to avoid such temptations.
Fate, however, places him in a nunnery filled with stunning women who consistently find themselves “accidentally” exposed in his presence.
The series aimed for humor and irony in portraying Akagami’s predicament, but its execution fell flat, diluting the intended vibe. Despite the prevalent fan service, the episodes feel rushed, preventing any meaningful connection with the audience. While accidental encounters are understandable, the excessive use of magically flying clothes disrupts the balance.
TenPuru’s Struggles with Plot and Character Development
Despite attempts to create a semblance of a plot, TenPuru falls short by offering only fleeting moments that lack purpose. In contrast, “The Quintessential Quintuplets” presented a well-structured plot that allowed characters to evolve and culminated in a satisfying ending.
However, TenPuru’s episodes feel disconnected, failing to engage viewers. While the Aoba sisters’ complex arc had potential, weak storytelling undermined its impact, often overshadowed by excessive skinship moments.
The anime’s take on multiple girls falling for one guy, a popular trope in rom-coms, misses its mark. Character relationships remain undeveloped, with episodes singularly focused on individual characters. While Yuzuki’s story progresses, others seem stagnant.
The series boasts impressive visuals but does little beyond aesthetics. This lack of redemption contributes to the harem genre’s waning popularity.
Despite high anticipation due to its unique premise amidst the prevalence of isekai harem anime, TenPuru disappoints by failing to live up to its potential. Even amidst fan service, “Café Terrace and its Goddesses” managed to maintain a coherent plot and emotional character connections.
TenPuru’s Disappointment: Shallow Characters in Harem Anime
Harem anime often faced criticism for shallow portrayals of female characters, predominantly targeting male audiences. While some harem shows managed to blend fan service with meaningful plots, TenPuru disappointingly falls short in its character depth. Unlike recent rom-coms that have evolved to feature multi-dimensional characters, TenPuru fails to keep up with this shift.
Recent romance genre heroines like Tomo-Chan, Raeliana McMillan, and Saint Cecilia have set new standards for character complexity. However, TenPuru adheres to the trend of undervaluing female characters, even in the context of the evolving genre landscape.
The anime could have explored the struggles of individuals judged by their family’s reputation, but it falls flat in doing so. As one of the most underwhelming harem anime of recent years, TenPuru’s uninspiring plot and lack of depth contribute to its disappointment.
The anime’s potential remains untapped, particularly in comparison to successes like “The Quintessential Quintuplets.” As the genre continues to entertain, TenPuru exemplifies the point where entertainment alone can no longer suffice to captivate the audience.
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