Hey, it’s been a hot minute, but with the way 2020 is, me being self aware about hiatuses have practically become a part of this blog’s identity. In any case, I’m still reading tons of manga,
constantly putting off Stein;s Gate, and now, I want to talk about one harem manga where every girl in the harem is best girl.
Because they’re all the same girl.
Pseudo Harem is a wonderful little “harem” romcom manga from Saito Yuu that tells the story of Nanakura Rin of the Drama Club, who uses her amazing talent as an actress to portray a variety of tropey harem waifus to her senpai in the same club, Kitahama Eiji. Is her acting a shield to hide her true feelings, or a really complicated flirting technique? Who knows, give it a read to find out!
This is a simple manga with a simple but incredibly unique premise. As seen in the above panels, the hook of the manga is the “harem” not actually being a harem, but one adorable actress named Rin showing off her different “characters”. I HAVE seen movies and TV shows do the “character playing a bunch of other characters” trope before,but not like this.
It’s an incredibly fun premise to apply that trope to the setting of a romcom. The way she changes character is done dynamically, through changing around her hair, demeanor and even speech patterns is a joy to read.
It’s definitely a standard romcom in a lot of respects, but the clever ways that Rin changes her “characters” to fit the situation is so fun. In a REALLY weird way, it actually kind of reminds of Ben 10. The whole idea of each “transformation” having its own unique personality and being used to fit the situation makes her a romcom chameleon, and I love it!
The art is simple, but expressive. It’s not groundbreaking, but for something this fluffy with such an interesting premise, you don’t really need it. It’s healthy comfort food.
Oh, and if you’re worried contrived romcom drama, it is nowhere to be seen here. This is concentrated amounts of character fluff. In fact, one of my favorite running gags (which I’m not even sure is intentional) is them setting up some stressful thing they have to deal with, then it just hard cuts to the aftermath of them being fine.
Some may call it rushed, but personally, I enjoy how it treats the reader. It knows that we know the tropes at this point, so it just skips the “fluff ” to get to the, well, fluff! Having a romcom about a pseudo couple is pretty nice without the convoluted conflict in between. The fact that each chapter is also only 5 pages long incentivizes the author to concentrate as much romcom fun into each chapter.
Of course, you may have your fears that this is gonna be a run of the mill romcom that ends on the confession, but remember, it’s the Reiwa era, and progress might just be around the corner! Hell, it might have even happened now, you don’t know.
My point is, read Pseudo Harem right now and follow it weekly. It’s a hilariously heartwarming romcom with a unique premise that it makes very good use of. It is the quintessential romcom harem without all the usual annoying fuss of romcoms or harem, and carried by two dorky but creatively flirty leads.
Again, it is LITERALLY the Ben 10 of Harem, what more do you need?