Recommend me a romance or harem novel that closely fit my criteria!

Hi I'm looking for a romance or harem novel, but I've recently gotten really tired of the same recycled tropes that seems to pop up in all the new novels I pick up, so I'd like to ask you all if you can recommend me something that fits as close as possible (I realize that it's probably impossible to fit it perfectly) to my criteria.

  • An actual relationship. In most japanese novels I've read, the MC's got an EQ of a stone, and is surrounded by 3-4 girls trying to get his attention, but never getting into a relationship with any of them, except possibly at the end of the novel.
  • Not too many girls! In many of the chinese ones, the authors never seem to hesitate to put the characters in relationships but there's just too many girls in their harem novels. I usually like harems, but when the number reach 10+ all of the girls get such a small amount of scene time or the earlier girls are just forgotten, and it's hard to care about any of them. I don't know how many times I've had to google names that pop up later in novels because I just don't remember who that girl was.
  • The MC and romantic interest shouldn't separate for too long. Obviously they do not have to stick together like butter for the whole novel, but, I don't know why almost all chinese authors think that it's necessary to split up the MC and romantic interests for hundreds of chapters. In some novels the romantic interests are not even in the novel for 2/3 of the book. Especially in novels that isn't fully translated, it's very dissuading to know that there won't be any romance in maybe years, depending on how fast the translator is.
  • Please, please, please no more of the "family has arranged a marriage, so now the MC's got to beat that fiance up, or show that he's more worthy to her family". Seriously, I don't mind that the romantic interests got other pursuers, but why does this always have to be the reason? In some harem novels it even happens multiple times within one novel. In one I started to read, I just dropped it because within the first 100 chapters, this thing had happened 3 or 4 times. It feels like in all the chinese romance/harems the womans family is the only possible obstacle to a relationship, so I feel like I read the same book over and over again where it comes to the romance part in chinese novels.

If you can't find something that fits closely to that, then how about one where the girl actually is active in pursuit of the MC rather than sitting and waiting for the MC to lay down all the work for the relationship, something like Love Dependency Disease. I felt like that was a fresh take on things. I also liked the harem part of Arifureta, while the novel itself had its own glaring issues.

Also, no tragedies, I don't need more of that shit in my life.


  • You would love Douluo Dalu (Part 1, I don't know anything about it's sequels on WW). It isn't a harem or reverse harem. The mc has only one love interest, and the romance grows at a steady and good pace. They do get seperated tho, but I'm sure that won't trouble you much in this story.

    The mc has a few team mates, but they persue their own love interests so there's no 'fighting over the girl' scenes either.

    Tragedy.... It won't come for a very long time, so don't worry about that.

    Also, all novels by this author, Tang Jia Shan Shao, have only single love interests (except for HJC) so you would love any novel by this author, as all of them fit your criteria.
  • What puts me off novels just as much as the girl(s) being practically nonexistent is when they lose their memory.. it'll be going good, just realise the love they have for each other and then they throw that at you..
  • edited April 2017
    I think coiling dragon would be right up your alley, the love interest comes into the scene rather early, and most of the time she and the mc are together, wandering in the vast expanse
  • maybe try Spirit Realm.. you might like it.. i dont know how to give a brief description of his love-life without saying some spoiler..

    just read it!!'ll like it.. i think :)
  • edited April 2017
    starkpyre said:
    I think coiling dragon would be right up your alley, the love interest comes into the scene rather early, and most of the time she and the mc are together, wandering in the vast expanse
    This, cd has my favourite romance out of all novels I've read.
  • If any of you find something that fits the criteria please post because i'm interested as well. Thanks.
    The problem is Japanese novels is because the MC never really notices anyone else's feelings or just does not act upon his own which completely ruins any chance of romance or the novel is just a massive amount of ecchi stuff with no actual substance. The problem with Chinese novels is that they are mostly focused more on powering up than to actually care about keeping their love interest(s) around or that the author is not good at writing romance as they are writing action so they don't really try too. So we get massive time skips where the heroines are missing for hundreds of chapters at a time and when we add in harems into the mix, you get lackluster interactions with the love interests which ends up becoming a totally superficial romance.
  • The New Gate
    Death March
    Coiling Dragon
    Tales of Demons and Gods (Don't hate me for this one since its actually kinda good just shit with the author)
    Konjiki no word master
    Irregular at Magic High
  • Have you tried Mushoku Tensei? That's practically foundation of what I call real harem in LNs, with healthy, slowly and naturally developing mutual romance (as opposed to classic harem where you just get gazililon of one-sided "love", or twisted shit like yandere). There are 3 heroines and all of them get plenty of significant development, not juvenile date-sim crap "I needed kiss to powerup, so I went on a date with her, and completed her route" that started to infest recently (ie. Magika, Bahamut or Blade Dance).

    As for Xianxia, you're out of luck. Of all I'm aware of, it's either shallow (no real relationship development, unless you consider rape romantic), one sided crap - she loves him, he loves cultivation more, resulting in temporary relationship (meaning at some point love interest gets kidnapped / killed off / left home raising children while MC adventures not sparing her a thought). There are some Xianxias with real romance (not harem though), but those I'm aware of, Way of Choices and Spiritual Blade Mountain, are yet to reach enough translated chapters. In case of latter, romance is RL years ahead at current pace.
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