Most harem anime has a pretty standard formula. Guy ends up in a situation where three or more girls are all into him and are fighting one another to get closer and closer to him, the end goal being that they become his significant other. This will result from many different attempts, whether it’s looking sexy in a swimsuit, constant flirting with him and trying to spend time alone with him so they have the best shot at courting him in the end.
However a lot of harem anime suffers from a few things that I find stupid. For a bunch of girls that are doing everything they can to try and get the main character into their bed, they seem to only want to be seen in their underwear or naked at the “perfect time”, otherwise they freak out. They also seem to have problems dealing with anything physical, even if it’s just a simple two hands on their shoulders kind of situation. While I love harem anime, it’s one of those things that drive me crazy.
So when a show like OniAi comes out and does something completely different from your average run-of-the-mill harem anime, it immediately grabs my attention.
What’s that something, you ask? Oh nothing much…other than how the anime plays the side of these girls legitimately want the main character and will stop at nothing to accomplish their goal.
In OniAi, all bets are off. The girls aren’t just using their cuteness to try and court the main character, Akito, they’re going all-out into gaining his affection. In the average harem anime, the girls while saying they’ll do anything for the MC, they don’t follow through. In OniAi, with arguably the exception of Ginbe (who’s a little more proper and has a sense of honour and pride), the main girls of the show have zero problem stripping themselves down completely if it means keeping his attention, they have zero problem not just haphazardly going up to him and being subtle about their love for him, because that would be embarrassing, right? No, these girls will go straight up to him, tell him they like him and want not to just kiss him or hold hands with him, no no no, they want it all.
And that’s what really got me into OniAi, the simple fact that these girls were mature enough to know what they wanted and were not going to become the cliche harem anime girl who wanted the MC in every possible way, but the second they caught him staring at their breasts they’d blush up a storm and kick him into the stratosphere.
You have Anastasia, who is clearly perverted in every conceivable way and it goes as far as the only way she gets slightly embarrassed is when she has to walk around with a skirt on but no panties underneath because she can’t find a pair (why she also couldn’t find pants, that’s another story) to wear and has to worry about wind outside as well. Her emotionless demeanor adds onto things, making it pretty clear that almost nothing will phase her, you pretty much assume that if it’s in her room and she is allowed to do so, she’s stripping and jumping Akito the first chance she gets. Otherwise, she’ll go as far as she can in public without nudity being involved, for the most part.
Granted, you have Akiko who for most of the anime tows the creepy incest line, wanting to sleep with him every chance she can get, Akito barely repelling her offense. Thank god (I have to spoil this because otherwise you’ll think I’m supporting an incest anime) at the end of the series it’s revealed that they’re not actually blood-related and Akito keeps this fact a secret, because he knows the only thing stopping Akiko from breaking into his room and ripping his clothes off is that while she wants him in every possible way, she believes deep down that they are blood-related and that Akito doesn’t want anything sexual to go on between them because of that. So because she believes that, while she tries her best to have Akito make the first move so in her mind it makes what she thinks is an incestual, in the end she’ll back off when it’s apparent he’s not budging.
And then there’s Arashi, quite possibly now my favourite harem anime girl of all-time. I still love girls like Charlotte (Infinite Stratos) and Asa Shigure (Shuffle!), but Arashi goes out of her way to not just push herself to the forefront of OniAi, but pushes herself so far to the forefront of all harem anime in general that it’s impossible to forget about her. For me she already checks several boxes, she has fiery red hair, wears an eye patch, has a perfect body type, is actually really smart and is very independent. Without the show’s constant sexual content, Arashi is still already a fantastic female character. But it’s how she really transcends the average female harem character that really grabs my attention.
While it’s unclear if Akito is actually in love with any of the girls, it’s very clear that there is an attraction to them, Arashi being no exception. She senses this and since the feeling is mutual, the switch has now been turned on and her quest to get those pants off and jump his bones begins. Arashi is also bi-sexual, so whether you’re male or female, if she wants you in bed, she won’t stop until she accomplishes that. She’s pretty much a sexual predator, just without the connotation of it being child-related. If she wants to fuck you, she’ll use every trick in the book to make it happen. So instead of the usual “Omigosh! You saw me in my underwear! Eeek!” reactions from female characters in harem anime, if you dare to walk into her room, don’t be surprised if she tries to lock you in and toss her robe off right away.
The anime doesn’t hide its hand like most harems try to do. Harem anime may have sexual content, but it’s just in the odd ecchi scene where a girl is showering, undressing, the usual fodder. In OniAi, they don’t shy away from sex and the lustful desire of the act. Arashi pretty much wants to have sex every hour of the day, whether it’s Akito or not makes no difference to her. Akiko spends every waking moment of each day trying to sucker who she thinks is her blood-related brother into making the first move on her, so the incest line suddenly becomes acceptable in her mind, so you know she dreams of nothing more than riding Akito all night long. Anastasia would love nothing more than to have Akito in her bed, caressing every inch of her body, so long as it’s on her terms. Ginbe while you’re to assume she wants all this as well, her main objective is for Akito to truly see her as a woman, as when they were kids, he thought she was a boy the entire time. Either way, as soon as he shows to her that he is attracted to her feminine figure, she’s jumping him. Hell, even Akito’s boss as a writer, Kaoruko, it’s hinted that even she’s into him a little bit (partially cause she believes he’s a siscon and a lolicon and is trying to bring him back to liking girls his age or a little older) and tries to court him a couple of times. And yes, I’m completely ignoring Arisa, because she’s 12 and honestly, other than her uncanny nature of stripping naked overnight when she sleeps, she’s not actually sexually interested in Akito, she just loves him as an actual brother, her mind just gets tainted while living under the same roof as three extremely perverted girls in Arashi, Akiko and Anastasia.
So for those who like watching anime with a flare for the sexual innuendo, this is a fantastic anime for that. I know it partially ruins it to reveal that Akito and Akiko are not actually related, but believe me, if they did not reveal this fact, I would not be talking about this show at all. I’d certainly not want it out in the open that I got super into an anime where incest was its main theme. But for what the anime (by the end) actually is, it’s a harem anime that unlike most, doesn’t shy away from the idea of sex and affection based on physical attraction. While Ginbe and Akiko do like Akito for who he is, it’s arguable that Arashi and Anastasia simply like him because they think he’s attracted and want to fuck him.
Sometimes that’s all we need to want to have sex with someone, we are superficial after all.