Steve DenBeste was talking about how, once you boil it all down, a lot of the harem animes are the same. Worse yet, you need to be a CPM to really differentiate between some of the shows. And their greatest sin? They flunk the refrigerator test, even before you finish the show.
Does this tie into the glut of remakes? Let's see, Disturbia is a remake of one of the great classics (Rear Window), the swarm of TV shows being remade into movies (the person that does an A-Team remake will go on the same list at Uwe Boll as "people I'll feed into wood chipper, feet first"), and such.
Why? Quite frankly, we're running out of plots. It hasn't all been done before, but I'd say about 70-80% of it's all been done before. What's left is getting pretty esoteric, and pretty weird-and something off-the-wall and strange.
Some of the things that could be done...here's an idea. Try taking a trope, and subervting it.
I've been banging around this idea for a manga/anime seires. Take the Fushigi Yugi plot and mess around with it...
Our main character is accidentally summoned from our world to a Asian magical fantasy world to fulfill a prophesy. The Princess of Roses will marry the Dragon Prince, and will lead that world through it's next thousand years of what it becomes. As the time comes closer, the sixteen Dragon Princes (and Princesses) start appearing, eight bright and eight dark. Once the Dragons kill each other off, one will be left to marry the Princess. If a bright prince marries the Princess, "good" things happen. If a dark prince marries the Princess, "bad" things happen. Both for a given value of good and bad.
So, the "good" and "bad" guys are gathering up the Princes and Princesses to await the summoning of the Princess of Roses...
And this time, the summoned one is a guy. That has all the characteristics and rules of the marks the Princess of Roses should be. Whom is most certainly not a retiring and reticent type. He can make gunpowder and can do blacksmithing, and is a military and engineering otaku. He knows history. A few episodes along, he organizes a village into a small Roman legion with longbows for ranged weapons. He exists as a major change in the world...and there are people that don't want change.
Hilarity, death, romance, and comedy ensue from there.