So let’s break this down. We had a whopping total of 6 harem series this season and I happened to watch 4 of them. There was Saenai and Isuca but I ignored both and decided to at least get some half-assed action and I was greeted with these four that stand to be judged. Anyone who paid attention to me knows which I hate the least but oh well, let’s get down to it.
I don’t even feel like using pictures so 3 small walls of text await you.
Let’s start out with the ones I actually dropped. Fanfir and World Break. The two series IMMEDIATELY got me disappointed when the “little” sister character archetype was introduced. Fafnir had the stoic little sister while World Break had the “fake” little sister from a past life and while I enjoy Taketatsu Ayana’s voice work in general, I really hate the character she played here. Both involves the usual “unusual” main character being part of an exclusive institution, a trope that has been done to death but apparently sells very well. I think I stopped watching these two around the same time at around Week 3-4. Fafnir’s artwork was done by Inugami Kira, the person who did the Seitokai no Ichizon character design and art but the goofy looking characters look more fit for a comedy than an action. World Break had all sorts of quality but I cringed harder when I watched that with its HORRENDOUS engrish and its laughable fight scenes with the hilarious writing in the air. I didn’t bother finishing this but from what I hear, mileage didn’t make the series any better.
Next was Shinmai Maou no Testment, or whatever the ridiculous localized title is. I liked that the main character wasn’t a complete dunce but once again LITTLE SISTERS are the main deal here once again. Demon lords, heroes, high schools, onii-chan, and borderline hentai PLOT DEVICE that demands that the main character caress his adoptive little sister to power themselves. I will say that some of the side characters were alright but the anime was done by the guys who also did DAL II, which means rampant quality. Indeed, none of the fights were that entertaining so that only leaves the fanservice the only desirable factor in this series. But hold on, we’re not done yet. Remember how I said DAL II was the series to buy the BD’s for? Well the fanservice in Shinmai is completely censored so there’s absolutely no reason to watch this unless it’s the BD version. But even then, why even bother with borderline hentai when you outright watch hentai?
Finally we come to Absolute Duo, the harem series of the season I hated the least. I mean, it’s in a magical high school institution (with the loli headmaster cliche which I am getting SO FUCKING TIRED of seeing mind you) but it did surprise me with the initial battle royale it forced on the students. Main character gets paired with the mysterious loli while making friends with two other “Duos” and then later a literal special snowflake. While this series, at its core, is just another harem, I think the presentation worked just a bit better. It did devolve into some cliche fighting and climax at the end but in the beginning, the other pairs of students are at least given some screentime. In World Break, I couldn’t care less about WE ARE THE SABERS. In Fafnir, the other students were all part of the harem so they don’t get any points. At least Sugita was the semi-developed friend in Shinmai who made the main character’s interactions watchable. Absolute Duo had the decency in having the main character have a previous male friend and his friend with the muscles who communicates through flexing. They pay attention to the system of a “duo” which, for whatever reason, must be achieved. It’s the main part of the show and while they under develop Julie and the main protagonist backgrounds, at least they bothered with fleshing out the universe depth.