Money, woman, and power. These are all common to fantasize about. Harem Kingdom hits all three by transporting you to another world, where you’re the king and it comes with a built-in set of wives. This is by Smee, who also created the popular comedy romances Fureraba and Making*Lovers. Unlike the previous titles, this one has been published by Shiravune, rather than NekoNyan.
Isekai to Palretta
Harem Kingdom falls into the common isekai genre; Luckily no trucks are involved in this case. The nameable protagonist and his childhood friend Hikari are suddenly transported to Palretta. While their entrance isn’t the smoothest, they find it to be a peaceful country. Certainly not as developed as their home of modern-day Japan, but able to make up for this in some ways with some basic magic. This is where you come in.
Those of the royal lineage are the only ones who can use the Cornerstone to make magical rocks, which are useful for keeping the country running and a large part of the economy. It’s even enshrined in the local religion. The summoning ritual that brought you here was searching for a relative of the former king, who recently passed away. Without one, the country would be in trouble.
The cornerstone does have a downside though. It can drain the user to the point of death. To replenish his magical powers, the king needs sex. With that, two allied countries have sent brides for the new king. Of course, two is only a starter for a harem; the protagonist soon draws in other women.
Of course, running a kingdom or having a harem isn’t all good. There are certainly challenges. Jealousy and competition will occur between the protagonist’s lovers. It mentions that there are issues between the nobles and commoners. We find out that there are some horrible parts of this new world such as slavery.
None of this matters too much though. While it’s mentioned, it often doesn’t go too far. The one exception is the competition between members of the harem, but even that’s kept fairly lighthearted for the most part.
It is a bit of a pity in a way. While it certainly fits the tone not to worry much about more serious issues, it introduced slavery as a concept, had the protagonist be properly appalled, and then despite his power as king, he did nothing outside of helping one person.
The tone of Harem Kingdom overall is full of direct comedy and it certainly does it well. So while it does miss out on opportunities to work on the story by tackling more serious topics, it certainly kept me laughing the entire way through.
Booty Slimes and More
The comedy in Harem Kingdom is fairly silly. The protagonist turns up saying “HI! I’M THE KING” to everyone, magic is used to create ‘booty slimes’ and at one point there’s a runaway penis.
While the humor is silly, it doesn’t make it any less effective. One benefit of having a large cast of heroines who are practically always together is that they play off each other really well. From overreactions to tricks and jokes, there’s always something to laugh about here.
It does avoid the typical trope of calling the protagonist a pervert for the most part. In the end, he’s supposed to be having sex and the people know and are often encouraging that.
Sex or Die
With the protagonist requiring sex to continue living, it’s not surprising that Harem Kingdom gets sexual pretty early on. This happens through story scenes and optional nighttime scenes where you make a choice on who to visit.
Sometimes these optional scenes felt like they were out of place. As the story continues, the protagonist ends up having sex with multiple characters. There’s typically some revelation or way that they grow closer as characters and it certainly feels like it’s their first time doing anything sexual together. But it might be that the character had already had some contact with them before.
Typically speaking, the sexual content in Harem Kingdom is fairly vanilla aside from the expected scenes with multiple partners. Mosaics are used for censorship, which can be a contentious topic.
Generally speaking though, the adult scenes were well done. There are tons of them too throughout the main story and routes.
Everyone is Your Heroine
Being a harem title, you don’t choose a single woman to stay with. After the common route, you will choose from a number of different routes.
You can choose from;
The Harem Battle Royal – This one focuses on Hikari. She’s the ‘weird one’, being your childhood friend who openly talks about topics like masturbation and calls you names. She’s absolutely hilarious when she gets angry and snaps.
Her preference is a harem where everyone is competing to be the best in the harem. To be the protagonist’s first choice.
The Comfy Harem – This is Sophia’s route. It’s a harem where people shower each other in affection and fits Sophia well. She’s a princess of a neighboring kingdom and probably the gentlest of them.
Sophia is rather soft-spoken and easily flustered. On top of that, she’s easy to trick as someone who often believes what she sees and what she is told. Simple and straightforward love suits her character.
The Manly Harem – Charlene gets her way here. This is where the protagonist has to take the reins of command. He needs to become reliable.
Charlene herself is a trickster and extremely seductive upfront. She’s also quite willful herself, as well as insightful.
The Reverse Harem – This is an interesting one. Kiki is featured in this route where the protagonist lets the women in his life decide everything outside of the king’s duties.
Kiki is a former slave, who is most often innocent and timid. Seeing her go into a depression because she doesn’t feel worthy is normal. She gets a bit of a personality change in this route at times.
The Rom-Com Harem – Marrou features here. The protagonist describes it as a harem all about himself. I actually felt that the Battle Royale route was more like a Rom-Com though.
Marrou is incredibly competent, excelling at near everything. She serves as the chancellor of the kingdom and seems to essentially run the government at times.
While each route focuses on a character, it barely does. This is very much a harem story the whole way through. In the Battle Royale route for example, it features all of the members of the harem near equally. Hikari gets a few more scenes and some story development about your past with her, but it’s essentially a route for everyone. All of the routes are similar in this way.
The amount that the routes even focus on their topic is sometimes negligible too. With that said, while routes may not always perfectly fit the topics, they’re all distinct from each other. They’ll take you to different places or have different types of events going on.
In the end though, a lot of the content of the common route and the harem routes is slice of life. There are events like playing volleyball, messing around with magic, and meeting friends. There’s some story development and more character development along the way, but it’s mostly just a comfortable fun experience.
As always, SMEE’s production values are great. It’s a bright world that they’ve brought to life with plenty of backgrounds and some wonderful music. This is topped off by little touches such as flicking between a few backgrounds to make it look like you’re traveling, the use of transitions, and panning across some scenery.
The sprites themselves are detailed and some in a wide variety of poses. There’s some minor animation such as blinking eyes and movement to add some energy into the characters.
CGs are plentiful too, though the majority are adult ones. If a non-adult version ever comes out, it might be lacking in this area.
Character voices are distinct and certainly fit the image of their character too. From Sophia’s gentle and sometimes embarrassed voice to Hikari’s harsher screams, they’re all great performances. Almost everything apart from the main character is voiced.
Fonts can be changed based on preference and depending on what you have on your computer. The default one can be seen in the screenshot above, while I played through with Noto Sans CJK SC Bold. I didn’t have any issues with the above, but preferred the one below.
Translation, Editing, and Issues
I can’t speak to the accuracy of the translation, not speaking much Japanese myself. I can say that it made sense in context and I didn’t notice anything unusual during most of Harem Kingdom. It appears to be a good localization.
There were a few minor spelling issues, most likely caused by typos. This isn’t unusual in visual novels though and it’s in a better state than many other releases.
I did come across a few issues though. I ran into one instance of cut-off text, with the line ‘How many times have you thought about me while masturbating?’ in large text cutting off partway. This won’t happen on the default font, but is worth keeping in mind if you select your own.
More importantly, there were a couple instances where a character said something that didn’t make sense in that route. It made sense if you’d played the other routes, but the protagonist wouldn’t have access to the information to not find it strange that these things were said.
In the end though, the issues are rare and minor for the most part. Overall the quality feels high.
Harem Kingdom is a laugh-out-loud comedy. I’d not say to come here for the story, but you get to know some rather interesting characters and have fun along the way. It’s a fantasy where you get whisked away to another world, but instead of fighting and adventuring like most isekai stories, you get to relax and enjoy yourself.
HAREM KINGDOM IS RECOMMENDED
If you are looking for another more comedic visual novel, perhaps Sankaku Renai would be worth checking out. We have also covered a wide variety of visual novels both original to English and localized from Japanese, which you can check out here.
Many thanks go to the publisher Shiravune for a review code for this title.
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A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.