by Theron Martin,

World's End Harem

GN 1

World's End Harem GN 1
In the year 2040, automation has advanced enough that work is now optional for people living in advanced countries. That hasn't prevented fatal diseases like cellular sclerosis, but hope for a cure within a few years is strong enough that victims can be put into cryosleep until AIs have the answer. Such is the case for Reito Mizuhara, a promising young researcher, but the world that he awakens to five years later is very different from the one he left behind. A rampantly infectious disease that's fatal only to men has swept the globe, leaving only men in cryosleep alive. Of those, only the handful of men who have been treated for cellular sclerosis seem immune to the new plague. Because of that, Reito is now invaluable as a breeder, and he's strongly encouraged to start having sex with as many women as possible in order to pass his immunity on to new male babies. However, he's still hung up on Elisa, the long-time friend he confessed to shortly before going into cryosleep.

Late in 2017, Seven Seas Entertainment launched its Ghost Ship imprint as an avenue to bring manga titles specifically for mature audiences to the States. This series joins Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs as one of the first two titles released under that imprint.

So far, what classifies this as a “mature audiences” title is that characters engage in sexual intercourse, but not as much happens appears in the first volume as the title, premise, and cover art might lead you to expect; there's only one sex scene and another nonconsensual provocation and arousal of a male character, but both fall short of hentai-level explicitness. Beyond those two scenes, none of the manga is more brazen than what might be encountered in any modern fanservice harem series, and the subject matter certainly isn't beyond the pale for its genre.

For all of its harem trappings, the first volume doesn't play purely within that sandbox. It actually puts some effort into developing its sci fi scenario and hints at other storylines beyond getting virus-immune men to breed with as many women as possible, as later scenes hint that there may be factions of women who aren't as keen on that whole scheme. However, the world-building of this story has significant gaps. It reasonably postulates that killing off half of the population will severely limit the maintenance of the economy, research efforts, and maintaining automated equipment, leaving a substantial portion of the remaining population living in poverty. There's also an (albeit hackneyed) explanation for why breeding can only be done via intercourse rather than artificial insemination. The notion that a near-future world could become automated enough that humans don't have to work is also intriguing, but any explanation for how market forces would function under such a scenario is absent. Frankly, I'll be surprised if we ever see anything about that, since that's clearly not the manga's main intended appeal.

The moral implications of the situation also come into play throughout the story. Of the two male survivors, Reito is loyal enough to remain solely interested in his one long-term love, while the other revels in getting to have sex with any woman he wants. As laudable as Reito's commitment might be, the story raises the question of whether or not monogamy has any place in a setting where spreading your seed is necessary for the continuance of the human race. Does he really have any right to turn away women seeking to have sex with him for the greater good? The series has yet to explore that matter deeply enough to elevate the material beyond just being a harem adventure, but at least it provides an avenue for the series to strive for something larger-scale.

The artistic effort certainly makes no bones about its fanservice. Actual nudity is limited to a handful of scenes, but the ample bust sizes of female characters are invariably emphasized and full-figured women are the standard; even one of the two petite characters is very well-endowed. The artistic effort does a reasonable job of making Reito look as handsome as he's supposed to be, and in general both character art and background detail are well-drawn.

Seven Seas' publication offers a couple of glossy color art pages at the beginning and both bonus art and a brief afterword by both the writer and the artist at the end. Sound effects vary between having English translations accompany the originals and outright replacing the original art, depending on the panel layout.

Overall, World’s End Harem isn't purely sci fi harem cheese, but at the same time, it doesn't do enough to hold much appeal to anyone outside its genre.

Overall : B-
Story : C+
Art : B+

+ Quality artistry, good amounts of fan service, story may be striving for something more
Big gaps in world-building, not much body type variety in the harem cast

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Production Info:
Story: Link
Art: Kotaro Shono

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World’s End Harem (manga)

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World’s End Harem (GN 1)

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