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4 anime subgenres that you'd never see on traditional American TV

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Mar 28, 2018, 4:59 PM EDT (Updated)

Japanese anime is available in all of the traditional genres, including drama, comedy, romance, and horror — anime is really just a catch-all term for animation, after all. And so, as you might expect, there are some subgenres which are a bit... strange. Genres such as Ecchi (which is all about pushing the sexual envelope), Harem (a bunch of girls chasing a guy), Reverse Harem (a bunch of guys chasing a girl), and Little Sister Moe (brother and sister romance) all are fun to watch, but can seem odd compared to basic network television in America... or really any television show in America. 


Ecchi is for those who want something provocative, but not quite hentai. Frequently, the characters find themselves in predicaments where they’re exposed to underwear flashing, confronted by nudity, or falling on top of another character in a sexual position.

The Testament of Sister New Devil

Credit: Crunchyroll

The Testament of Sister New Devil (TV-MA)

Basara Toujo has to protect the Demon Lord’s daughter, Mio, and prevent her from unleashing her innate power, which would cause her to destroy the world.

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

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Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt (TV-MA)

Panty and Stocking are angels kicked out of Heaven who made it their mission to save the world from evil spirits. Panty’s ultimate weapon is her panties that turn into a gun, and Stocking uses her stockings that transform into her trusty sword.

My First Girlfriend is a Gal

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My First Girlfriend Is a Gal (TV-MA)

Hashiba Jun’ichi thinks he’ll be a virgin forever, until he musters up enough courage to ask out Yukana, who surprisingly agrees to become his girlfriend. Unfortunately for Jun’ichi, just because Yukana’s his girlfriend doesn’t mean she’s ready to lose her virginity.


Harem is many a straight guy’s dream. The male protagonist, typically an average guy with few rewarding attributes, is surrounded by three or more females competing for his love. The female personalities can vary from cute, feisty, homemaker, and athletic to dangerously obsessive.


Credit: Animax

Nisekoi (Not Rated)

Raku Ichijo’s father is the head of a Yakuza family that's in the middle of a territory war with another Yakuza family. In order to bring peace, Raku is forced to date the daughter of the other family’s head. The only problem is that Raku already has a crush on someone and wouldn’t want her to find out he has a girlfriend.

Date A Live

Credit: Chiaki Kurakane

Date a Live (TV-14)

Powerful spirits (who all happen to be gorgeous females) have appeared on Earth, causing devastating earthquakes. The quakes only can be stopped if the protagonist, Shido, dates the spirits and make them fall in love with him.

In Another World With My Smartphone

Credit: Production Reed

In Another World With My Smartphone (TV-14)

God mistakenly kills Touya Mochizuki, but because it was an accident, God agrees to resurrect him. However, it’s not possible for Touya to go back to Earth, so he has to live out the remainder of his life on a different world, which just so happens to have magic. As he builds his new life, he meets beautiful girls along the way who help him navigate the world.


Guys don’t get to have all the fun. Reverse Harem is (obviously) the opposite of Harem, where the main character is a female, typically a shy, girl-next-door type, courted by three or more men trying to win her heart. The guys often range from romantic, sensitive, and aloof to controlling.

Uta No Prince Sama

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Uta No Prince Sama (TV-14)

Nanami Haruka attends a music school to pursue her dream of becoming a composer. While there, she befriends attractive male students in the singing programming who all fall in love with her.

Brothers Conflict

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Brothers Conflict (TV-14)

Hinata Ema’s father marries a woman who happens to have 13 sons. Hinata moves into the house with her new stepbrothers, who each try to seduce her.

Kiss Him, Not Me!

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Kiss Him, Not Me! (TV-14)

Kae Serinuma loves reading Boy Love manga and wishes that world could translate to her real life. She finally gets the opportunity when she loses weight and four popular guys at school ask her out. What they don’t realize is that she'd rather watch them date each other.


This genre is about loving your little sister... but maybe a little too much. Little Sister Moe flirts with the idea of an older brother and little sister growing attracted to each other… romantically.


Credit: Aniplex America

Oreimo (My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute?) (TV-14)

Kyousuke’s relationship with his sister, Kirino, has been strained, but they learn to bond after Kyousuke learns of Kirino’s interest in adult computer games and keeps it a secret. As they grow closer and closer, their love blurs the line between platonic and romantic.

A Sister's All You Need

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A Sister’s All You Need (TV-MA)

Despite having a little sister himself, Itsuki Hashima is obsessed with reading Older Brother and Little Sister romances, to the point where he becomes a successful novelist who specializes in the subject. A Sister’s All You Need follows Itsuki’s everyday life as a writer.

My Little Sister Is Among Them

Credit: Studio Gokumi

My Little Sister Is Among Them! (TV-MA)

In order for Shougo Mikadono to claim his family inheritance, he needs to find a nice girl to marry at school. The only problem is that his sister attends the same school and he doesn’t know which one of the girls is her.