After thirteen arduous weeks, we’re finally going to see off the final harem of the season. In fact, let this be Spring ’14’s last post ever (continuing series don’t count). Keep reading to see how anime Neo and his haremettes will save the day.
— Souta makes the mistake of asking why everyone had come to help him. Whoops. Each and every single one of his haremettes will now utter a single line to express why they’re here. All those girls and not a single one of them could offer up anything remotely interesting or original to justify their existence. Ah well, I guess that’s why they’ve been doomed to a harem anime.
— The last episode is absolutely grating, actually. The bad guys do something shocking (not really), so the anime has to cut to every single one of these girls so that we can hear them gasp. Yo, I can assume that if one haremette gasp, so will the rest of them.
— Yeah, the sinking cruiser from Souta’s past starts levitating into the air and becomes…
…the Angel Boat. No, really, that’s what we’re officially calling it. Hmm, it kinda looks like the Enterprise if you squint your eyes. Even if none of this is serious, however, it’s just not funny. Rather, it’s a cringeworthy attempt no matter how you shake it. A joke? This is a pretty bad joke. A serious final boss? You actually can’t be serious, right?
— So the big bad boss fires its laser at Souta’s girls, and they all blow up. Souta is thus by himself all over again. Gee, how much time do we have left in the episode? Too much time left. So I guess it’s time for a flashback!
— Guys, guys, Souta and his haremettes all met each other on the cruise ship. But because of an accident on the boat, he had to absorb their death flags — hey, stop laughing! — in order to save their lives. That’s why no one remembers each other at all! Even better, in this flashback, a Sakura-lookalike introduced herself as Laplace’s Demon. That’s right, the deterministic concept that if you know the location and momentum of every atom in the universe, you can also determine where the atoms were in the past as well as where they will be in the future. What does this have to do with a harem anime? Well, you have event flags and shit… and that’s kind of deterministic. Shh, we’re trying to be deep and profound here. Stop ruining it for us!
— In the flashback, Souta sees and saves a trapped man, but as soon as he does so, he himself ends up getting trapped under some fallen debris. The man he had saved then runs off to find some help, but I guess he takes his sweet time doing so. As a result, our hero despairs and doubts his faith in humanity… only for the man return with his haremettes! Ho ho ho, the nature of man is good after all. Unfortunately, a flaming pillar decides to come crashing down on everyone at this very moment. Souta then absorb his friends’ death flags as I’ve previously mentioned in the preceding bullet point. After that, the rest is, well, history.
— Yeah, this is the same show with all the silly harem antics. No, we haven’t suddenly switched out the anime with something more serious and grim. Someone wrote all of this into a single light novel series and decided, “Yeah, I’ve crafted a great tale.”
— But still, our harem lead can’t quite reach the final boss! Minna~! Lend Souta your power!
Yeah, it’s a blurry shot, but it’s also the best shot I could manage. Anyway, I don’t even know what to say about this. It’s like a haremette spirit bomb. In the end, Souta and his girls manage to puncture a hole through the Angel Boat, and that saves the day… somehow. There’s no exciting choreography or anything. The final battle is over just like that. Afterwards, Souta wakes up in his own bed. Number Zero assures him that this is now the real world. Uh-huh.
— So what are the Sacrament and Laplace’s Demon? Just two lolis, right? Nah, they’re “the emotions that the Angel Boat discarded upon its rebellion against humanity.”
— Number Zero takes off her mask to reveal that she is none other than Nanami. Wait, no, it’s just someone who looks a whole lot like Nanami: her mother! And thus, it’s Souta’s mother. ‘Cause that’s how genetics work. Nanami ends up looking exactly like her own mother, but Souta is completely, utterly different.
— As one final gift to her son, she tells him that none of his haremettes will remember their experiences within the virtual world, including his sister.
Yeah, fuck you, kid!
— But really? None of the haremettes will remember Souta? Oh, we’ll see about that, old lady who looks like my loli-ish sister even though you’re my mom.
— Afterwards, Souta goes to his new home in Quest Dormitory. There, he meets Akane, but of course, she doesn’t recognize him… at first. Naturally, the same lame accident that had occurred in the first episode occurs again now in the real world. Souta saves Akane, who then suddenly remembers who he is! Wowie wow! Take that, hahaoya!
— So uh… what on earth was this anime trying to be? I guess it wanted to have both stupid, generic harem hijinks as well as a serious story. The end result, however, is that the “serious” story becomes incredibly rushed. Seriously, if you added up all the actual plot-advancing scenes, you might be left with, hm, maybe two episodes of content at most? Meanwhile, the rest of the show, i.e. the other 11 goddamn episodes, is full of stupid bullshit like this:
So why? Why even bother? Why not just do one thing passably decent instead of two things horribly? A while back, there was another show I had covered in Harem Hill. I don’t remember its name anymore, but it also tried to mix stupid, generic harem hijinks with thriller-ish elements about a school election. And y’know, there was potentially an interesting story there, but at the end of the day, you still had to dig through the stupid, generic harem hijinks to get to it. Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara is like that anime’s lamer cousin. The stupid, generic harem hijinks are worse than ever — with haremettes that are dumber than ever — but the story underneath is somehow worse. At best, it’s a shitty sci-fi ripoff about yet another renegade AI. You could certainly develop that idea into something interesting, but not when you only give it two episodes worth of actual runtime. But even if the underlying plot was any good, it boggles the mind that storytellers don’t seem to realize the shit that they’re doing to their own stories. It’s like taking an A5 Kobe beef, then slathering the whole thing with ketchup. Someone out there will undoubtedly say, “But I like my steaks with ketchup.” Uh-huh, just like someone out there likes their stories with stupid, generic harem hijinks.
— But that’s it for the Spring season. Nisekoi was the best harem to mock, but then again, this is true of most popular series. Seikoku no Dragonar was definitely the worst of the three. As for Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara… well, it tried to stand out, but it will likely be the least memorable of the three. In any case, that’s it for Harem Hill for now… it may return in a couple weeks for the Summer season, but people have lately been complaining about the perceived laziness of these posts, so we’ll just wait and see.