The Winter 2022 anime season is off and running, and I’m watching dozens of series so I can pick the best ones to recommend to you here. One show I’m glad to finally get to watch is Shuumatsu no Harem, aka World’s End Harem, about a disease that kills almost all men, leaving the main character with a “harem” of five billion women who are eager for his seed. Is this show a thoughtful dystopian science fiction concept or the most ridiculous harem anime ever?
The Story of World’s End Harem
It’s the year 2040, and, society has become a wonderful place where machines take care of humanity’s basic needs, and people work only to give themselves personal satisfaction. The main character is Reito Mizuhara, who’s just been diagnosed with a disease called Cellular Sclerosis, requiring him to go into cold sleep for five years to wait for the cure to be developed. Before he does, he confesses his love to his childhood friend Erisa, who promises to wait for him.
Fast forward five years. Reito is awakened by a beautiful, busty woman named Mira. The good news is the cellular disease he’d contracted has been cured, but the bad news is that every male on the planet has died! It seems that a year after he entered cold sleep, a new disease called the MK Virus (for “Male-Killer”) arose suddenly, killing all males within three days. With the Earth’s population cut in half, technology and the economy has collapsed. Reito is one of just five males who are alive and immune to the MK Virus, so naturally, he’s asked to mate with all the women of the world and impregnate as many as possible!
The anime takes care to craft its premise with care. Why can’t women just impregnate themselves through artificial insemination? Because the boy babies die of the MK Virus when they are born, leaving only the girl babies. What about embryogenesis with the semen of one of the few MK Virus-resistant males? For some reason this fails, too, leaving vaginal sex the only way to save the world.
The series was originally slated to air in the fall 2021 slot but got bumped suddenly. Fans thought that perhaps it was to give the animators time to come up with a better form of for-broadcast censorship than this…
…but sadly this is what you get if you watch the censored version of the show. (The uncensored version is available through certain unspecified methods.)
The Worst Anime Main Character Ever?
There are certain things fans love to hate. Filler episodes. Live-action versions of beloved anime they grew up with. NTR. And most of all, stories centered around milquetoast MCs who are too stupid to know that all the girls around him are madly in love with him.
We all know the frustration of watching a dense beta male in a harem anime fail to react when nearby females throw themselves at him. Characters like Ichika from Infinite Stratos, Keitaro from Love Hina, Kodaka from Haganai, and Rito from To Love-Ru are all frustrating because they’re surrounded by beautiful girls who want to share love and sex with them, yet they’re completely obvious to this. I get that some kind of vehicle is needed for the story to maintain its balance, but it gets tired very quickly.
But this is different. In the setting of the story in which 99.9% of the world’s males have died, refusing to mate with as many women as possible to continue the human race isn’t just frustratingly dorky, it’s criminal to the point of genocide. It’s nice that Reito wants to find his missing girlfriend Erisa, but if he were hit by a car or killed by a mob it would doom millions of his potential descendants to death. Not cool, dude.
(You could be forgiven for assuming the creator of the original manga was a man creating the perfect male sexual fantasy…but the manga is created by K. Shono, a female manga-ka.)
The First Anime To Deal with The Topic of COVID?
You might think an anime about a global pandemic that changes the world forever must have been created in the post-COVID era, but you’d be wrong. World’s End Harem is based on a manga that started running in 2016, and thus has no direct connection to the current crisis, other than having the best timing a fictional story could have asked for.
What are the best and worst harem anime according to MAL? Here’s a blog post for you!
But is World’s End Harem a Good Anime?
Surprisingly, I say yes. World’s End Harem checks several boxes as far as I’m concerned:
- An extremely dramatic story that deals with the most important topic ever, the survival of humanity. The concept is similar to one of my favorite films, 2006’s Children of Men, which I recommend highly.
- The mechanics behind the plot and the dark world the characters are inhabiting are actually well thought out, despite the outrageous harem premise.
- Except for the poorly executed censored scenes, the production quality from Studio Gokumi is very high.
- The studio has invested lots of effort into promotion for the series, in the form of posters in Megami Magazine, as well as upcoming figures. When studios show dedication to their works, I think fans should take notice and be supportive in return.
- We all love anime tiddy!
Thanks for reading my overview of what is certainly one of the most dramatic if ridiculous harem anime concepts I’ve ever seen. Are you loving Shuumatsu no Harem? Tell us below, or reply to us on Twitter!
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