Ah, World’s End Harem, perhaps I was too harsh on you last week. Sometimes, I forget this series exists for the ultimate goal of inscribing unfettered anime areolae onto a plastic wafer that it can then sell to you at a premium. Thankfully, the show is there to help, reminding me of its baser prayers with its most hilariously vapid episode yet. This is the platonic ideal of World’s End Harem, realized through its cumbrained hero running a decidedly un-platonic train on a gaggle of girls taking turns grinding their pelvises into his dick like they’re animals in heat. No thoughts, just humping. Isn’t that beautiful?
Doi is, to be clear, still a boring character and even worse protagonist. Thanks to the story’s lazy attempts at granting him pathos, he garners zero sympathy, and his whiny flightiness only makes him even less likable. But he still has a big point in his favor: he isn’t Reito. While Reito does everything he can to suck all the fun out of the ridiculous premise, Doi is more like a piece of driftwood caught in the riptide, if that driftwood were getting sucked off every time it turned a corner. His spinelessness and allergy to critical thinking work in World’s End Harem‘s favor Karen can throw him into almost any situation and be guaranteed at least one fertilized ovum on the other end. She might as well keep him in a literal stable, because he’d be just as placid there.
It’s also pathetic that it took half a season for us to see the formation of an honest-to-god harem in a show that deigns to have this title. Doi bonds with this week’s first conquest, Shunka, thanks to their shared bullying trauma, which might have been sweet in a story that was capable of communicating emotions more complex than “horny.” Instead, their metaphorical and literal licking of each other’s wounds is just another excuse for stripping bras and flipping skirts—but at least it’s honest! On the other side of the coin, Doi runs away from the loud-mouthed Rikka because pressing her crotch into his face triggers his bullying PTSD. Again, WEH‘s utter dearth of subtlety means this can only come across as unintentionally hilarious. I can’t call it insensitive, because that would imply the writing is sensitive to anything that isn’t either banging or a prelude to banging, and that simply isn’t true. Plus, Doi, my dude, didn’t you get the memo? Gals are making their comeback. You definitely want to get in on the ground floor, and by that of course I mean you want to let her ride you like she’s a cowgirl.
Instead, Doi drags a glowing post-coital Shunka into his room for further heavy petting, which instigates a catfight with an annoyed and half-naked Rikka. Doi, rather than confronting his easily avoidable error, runs away so he can sexually harass a third girl, Akira. Then he has the gall to be surprised when she calls him out to the equipment shed just so she can tie him up and jump his bones like a drooling lioness. I know he’s the dumbest boy alive, but now I’m also supposed to believe he hasn’t read a single hentai double in his entire life? I’m not buying that. This is the same guy who stares at the hot nurse’s exposed cleavage and thinks “I’m so horny, I can’t focus on anything,” which is the first time anybody in World’s End Harem has displayed a modicum of emotional intelligence. And then he has a foursome.
This episode is, in some ways (and in cum ways), the most perfectly plotted one yet. It’s driven entirely by cock-hungry girls pulling Doi hither and thither into one sexy misadventure after another. While he makes some nominal gestures towards the dystopian elements—he’s caged within the school grounds, and all his lovers will eventually be cycled out as they get pregnant—Doi ultimately decides he doesn’t give a shit. He exhibits zero agency, and that’s the way it should be. There’s no place for heroes here. This is a fantasy about every woman in the world lining up to get plowed by you. It’s pure wish-fulfillment. It’s dangling keys in front of your id, except the keys are a pair of honkin’ anime hooters.
On a tangential, yet important note, I think I’ve solved the mystery of the censored kisses. This episode proved to be particularly helpful, because some smooches are unobstructed, while others find themselves subsumed into the inky void of the shadow realm. And I believe the difference maker is the presence of tongues or not. I posted the smoking gun on my Twitter, where you can clearly see the crack in the universe form well before their lips touch. While I’m open to other theories, I think the evidence speaks for itself. Also, I recognize I could have just tracked down the uncensored version to get an answer, but that would have been a lot less funny, and thus antithetical to my reason for being here.
Last week’s dullness made me lash out at World’s End Harem‘s attempts to have a plot, and as if on cue, this week’s dumbness snapped me back to its enjoyably tasteless reality. At the end, this is just porn that’s objectively worse at the stuff that makes people watch porn, and I can still laugh at that. I can even laugh at its shoddy attempt at a cliffhanger, reintroducing one of Doi’s old classmates like it’s supposed to be an earth-shattering shocker. The show really expects us to remember a background character from his backstory, and that’s the big hook meant to string us into the next episode. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, World’s End Harem. Let’s never fight again—unless you decide to piss me off next week. <3
World’s End Harem is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Steve can be found on Twitter if you want to read his World’s End Harem livetweets. Otherwise, catch him chatting about trash and treasure alike on This Week in Anime.