The best harem light novels without anime adaptations

One of the more popular genres in anime and manga is the harem genre, which is home to several cult titles such as Tenchi Muyo and Is this a zombie? Works that fall into this genre usually consist of a main character surrounded by a number of other characters of the opposite sex, all of whom serve as potential love interests.

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The harem genre is also very widespread in light novels, and several titles have even received successful anime adaptations. But the success of harem light novels without anime adaptations shouldn’t be underestimated, with these eight titles making good additions to any harem fan’s library.


8/8 Villain Cecilia Sylvie in disguise

Cecilia Sylvie on the cover of Cross-Dressing Villainess Cecilia Sylvie

Written by Hiroro Akizakura, Villain Cecilia Sylvie in disguise has a nice mix of comedy, fantasy, and isekai, making it a must-read for anyone who enjoys those genres. The novel also features its main protagonist, Cecilia, as having a multitude of male love interests, making it more of a reverse harem.

As for the story, the plot revolves around Cecilia who is reincarnated as the main antagonist of her otome game. To avoid her impending death, she decides to disguise herself as a man, attracting the attention of the prince of the game and other hot girls.

7/8 Renew the world

Akira on the cover of Rebuild World Volume 1

It takes place in a destroyed world, Renew the world it’s actually quite a reputable title as far as light novels go. Many fans cite the fantastic world building as well as the brilliant development of main protagonist Akira from zero to hero as the reasons why the light novel series is so great.

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Akira is a young man with a dream to become a relic hunter to get out of the slums. But just when it seems his dream is about to be cut short, he meets the mysterious Alpha, who is in need of a hunter herself and decides to take Akira under her wing.

6/8 I’d rather have a cat than a harem!

Official artwork of the cast of I'd Rather Have a Cat Than a Harem

Similar to Villain Cecilia Sylvie in disguise, this light novel incorporates many isekai elements into its plot; in fact, similar to Cecilia, the main protagonist, Amy Northland, also has to deal with male love interests from the otome game she was reincarnated into.

After her entire family finds herself caught up in an otome game, Amy decides to use this opportunity to fulfill her lifelong dream of owning a cat. But in order to do so, she must find a way to prevent herself from marrying the Third Prince, which would guarantee her the role of villain in the game.

5/8 Battle giants

Artwork of Sharon on the cover of Battle Divas Volume 1

While most harem titles tend to feature at least three other potential love interests for their protagonists, Battle giants so far he only represents two love interests. Written by Kouka Kishine, Battle giants it was published on September 26, 2022, and three volumes are available for reading.

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The story centers on King Alnou of the declining kingdom of Althos who returns home only to find two marriage proposals waiting for him, much to his shock. But after meeting Lesfina, his first potential bride, he discovers that his second wife, Sharon, is already present and eager to take his head.

4/8 Culinary chronicles of Dvorski cvijet

The official artwork of Rimi from the Culinary Chronicles of Dvorski cvijet

Moving on from harem titles with isekai elements, Court culinary chronicles Flower takes place during the feudal era, specifically in the fictional Konkoku Empire. The series currently has eight volumes available and is written by Miri Mikawa.

In this light novel, Rimi is a talented cook who is later sent to become one of the emperor’s concubines. But no sooner has she adjusted to life within the Empire, while simultaneously trying to preserve the memory of her home, Rimi is suddenly sentenced to death for insulting the Emperor.

3/8 Wild times with a fake fake princess

Official illustration of Pamil on the cover of Wild Times with a fake fake princess

The title of this series of light novels may be a little long, but it perfectly sums up the events of the plot. The main protagonist, Kyohei, just wants to live a normal life, something that is already difficult for him due to the flashy lifestyles of his friends and family.

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Things get more bizarre when Kyohei meets Pamil, who claims to be the android body double of the princess of the Bergmann Kingdom. Now that Pamil is in his life, Kyohei is suddenly thrust into a life full of disagreements, misunderstandings and love troubles.

2/8 I swear I won’t bother you again!

The cast of I Swear I Won't Bother You Again on the cover of Volume 1

I swear I won’t bother you again is the debut work of Reina Soratani, who published the first volume on May 20, 2021. Unlike some of the entries on this list, this light novel moved away from the isekai trope and instead focused on the time loop that protagonist Violette finds herself in.

After trying to kill her stepsister in a fit of jealousy, Violette is thrown into prison only to suddenly find herself a year in the past. Wanting to atone for her crimes, Violette decides to live her life in peace and darkness, which results in her reuniting with her childhood friend Yulan and his friends.

1/8 I saved too many girls and caused the apocalypse

Rekka, Iris and Satsuki on the cover of I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse

Written by Namekojirushi, I saved too many girls and caused the apocalypse can be seen as a hilarious look at the negative consequences of the Good Samaritan. The series currently has sixteen volumes, and the first title was published in 2011.

The story follows Rekk Namidar, a high school student who tries to continue his daily life in peace. However, after meeting the mysterious Arlie, Rekka learns about his wild bloodline and a future where the apocalypse will cause many girls who fell in love with him because he saved their lives.

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