Just to rip off the band-aid right away, I won’t be talking about the censored Crunchyroll version for this post. As funny as it is to laugh at the black boxes, some that took up an entire screen. I actually want to give my honest and fair thoughts on this show, because I think I might be one of the few who do. With that said, let’s take a dive into World’s End Harem after the cut.
NSFW image up ahead. Please read with discretion.
I’ve said it time and again, but when I approach a harem/ecchi series, I always go to it with the idea that they are absurdist comedies. The very nature of a harem: one man surrounded by a gaggle of girls solely interested in him by the very idea absurd. And the shows work by suspending disbelief and letting the girls’ personalities bounce off each other to create humor and sometimes drama. It is just how these shows work, and while the very good ones (Date A Live, High School DxD, Majikoi, even the first season of Infinite Stratos) will compliment these antics with strong premises or character work. Many often just depend on this central idea to get them across, and oodles of fanservice.
WEH is very much in the second category. It is a dumb show through and through, and while it presents itself with some interesting ideas and concepts, it is not meant to be taken seriously or as a authority on the premise. That being said, WEH at least tries to present a plot and story that goes above what is expected of a show like this. After a pandemic (topical!) wipes out all but a handful of men on the planet. We follow Reito Mizuhara as he navigates a world where he is one of the few surviving males. While the powers that be wish to use him as a breeding mare, Reito is determined to find a cure for the Man-Killer Virus. All the while people in the shadows conspire to use him and the other surviving males for their own schemes.
It is an interesting concept to be sure, and frankly there hasn’t been a piece of entertainment anime or otherwise that has really delved into this time of apocalypse. How would a society with only women react to losing half of the population? How would they survive? What would the reactions be to the few men who did survive? Those are very compelling questions and could lead to good stories, and while WEH doesn’t dive into them as well as they could. I will give the show credit for at least trying to show what it would be like. Throughout the eleven episodes we are given looks into pretty much the main things that would end up happening in a female only story like this.
Feminazi leadership with desires to keep the things they way they are/are probably behind all of this? Check.
Insane sex cult who view males as breeding slaves? Check
Plucky group of scientists who wish to restore things back to the way they were? Check
Scheming and mischievous people who wish to use a male to up-end the power structure? Check.
WEH has all of these and while never going into the depth some may want, there is enough there to keep you interested. Some may view it crass, and in some ways it could be, but I was impressed that the show was able to show what would most likely happen in a scenario like this. Furthermore I was pleased to see that each of the three surviving men (there is a cameo from the fourth) are given different stories. Many (including myself) rolled their eyes in frustration at how series lead Reito refused to mate with any other girl except his one true love, but you can’t deny that he is a man of principle and is more focused on fixing the problem then surrendering to his basic urges. That falls to the other male Kyoji Hino who views the buffet of hot babes given to him as a gift from god, and indulges in it anyway he can. Thankfully those expecting him to go off the deep end and turn into a possessive asshole will be surprised when he steps up and takes responsibility for the women in his care. It was a surprising twist and one that I really liked.
But it is Shota Doi (that name lol) who has the most interesting plot line. Bullied ruthlessly by his classmates before the MK virus, he wakes up to find himself placed back in school and surrounded by women, all of which have been hand-picked because they would be predisposed to be attracted to him. Doi’s story and the machinations of his handler Karen Kamiya see the weak and meek student turn into a scheming, lustful and slightly cynical man, figuring out what his attendant has in store for him, and deciding to help her rule the world. It’s a great transformation and once again I was glad that his relationship with Karen helps prevent him from becoming a villain you might expect. Doi probably could have been the main character of this entire story, and he remains probably the most compelling part of the story.
For everything else, WEH does what it can with the overall small budget it has. While the show doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to its fanservice, throwing more boobs and butts than you can handle. Most of it is mid-level in terms of quality and doesn’t have much that catches your eye. The sex scenes are present, but presented and edited in a way that make them more tasteful to viewers. A few years ago this show might have been applauded for that, but in this post Redo/Interspecies world of ecchi, it feels like it is often a step behind. Still it shows the TnA when other shows might not, so points for that.
I was hoping that World’s End Harem would end up being the third jewel in the gauntlet thrown down by Redo of Healer and Interspecies Reviewers. While it tries its best, the show overall doesn’t have the courage or will to go as far as those shows did in regards to its content. That said, I have to applaud the series, dumb as it is, for dealing with some interesting ideas and presenting its characters and concepts in ways that kept me watching beyond just the fanservice. It’s always feast or famine when it comes to ecchi and harem these days, but World’s End Harem is a solid mid level show that hopefully will get a chance to finish its story. If you like these kind of shows, give it a look for sure, just maybe don’t go to Crunchyroll for it.