Otaku USA Magazine
Are These the Girls for You? Three Unconventional Harem Anime

Looking for something a little different in your harem anime?

Harem anime are, at this point, an integral part of the anime world. One protagonist (often clueless) among a bevy of potential baes. One will reign supreme. Maybe. But if that format is getting a little stale for you, why not change it up?

These three series put a twist on the formula… like a proper big one. Which of these would you go for?


Akikan! – Date a Human Soda Can


Are steel or aluminum soda cans superior? One harem anime hopes to find out. Akikan! is led by juice can collector Kakeru Daichi, who one day discovers that some soda cans can turn into cute human girls. These “Akikan” fuel up using their respective drinks, then fight each other to see which can reigns supreme. And yes, this is the best way to put an end to this debate. Don’t question it.

Throughout the series you’ll meet girls like Melon (who comes from a melon soda can), Yell (who comes from a sports drink), and many more, battling for supremacy. It’s based on a light novel — but if you opt for the anime, you’ll get to meet the anime-exclusive Ultimate Akikan, Miku.


Saber Marionette J – Squeaky-Footed Robots

Saber Marionette J

What do you do in a world without women? Make your own! Saber Marionette J is a harem anime taking place in a society starved of women. The all-male group has survived via cloning, and created marionettes — female robots without free will or emotion — to fill in the gaps. Then, one day, marionettes show up with “maiden circuits”: a technology making them effectively human.

Saber Marionette is a very 90s, weirdly cute series. Lime and her fellow marionettes walk with squeaky shoes (we promise it’s adorable), and it’s got that good Slayers fantasy/comedy vibe to it. Plus, it kicks off a whole timeline of anime, manga, and light novels.


World’s End Harem – Girls Enough at Last

World's End Harem

At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, there’s World’s End Harem: plenty of women to go around, but not a lot of men. After the Man-Killer Virus wipes out 99.9% of the male population, five guys get the opportunity of a lifetime: get to repopulating.

The series is coming soon, and focuses on Reito: one of the luckiest (and only) men alive. But as he’s being called on to mate early and often, he’s more interested in finding his true love. Will he find her among all his possible mates? We’ll find out later this year.

What’s your favorite oddball harem anime?

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.