Oh lord… that title.
If it were the end of the world, I certainly wouldn’t be reading something so hideously long.
Seriously… could they have made it no shorter. Does World’s End not suffice! Or even the official, Suka Suka?
Anyway, wihout further ado, World End’s – Episode 1!
World’s End seems to have received very little attention as it premiered this season. Maybe it’s still early. Maybe it’s not to peoples’ liking. Maybe it’s just one of those shows that get pushed under the radar each season – despite nothing being apparently egregious with it. Quite the opposite.
Synopsis taken from My Anime List (*Not written by myself)
Five hundred years have passed since the humans went extinct at the hands of the fearsome and mysterious ‘Beasts.’ The surviving races now make their homes up on floating islands in the sky, out of reach of all but the most mobile of Beasts.
Only a small group of young girls, the Leprechauns, can wield the ancient weapons needed to fend off invasions from these creatures. Into the girls’ unstable and fleeting lives, where a call to certain death could come at any moment, enters an unlikely character: a young man who lost everything in his final battle five hundred years ago, the last living human awakened from a long, icy slumber.
Unable to fight any longer, Willem becomes the father that the girls never had, caring for and nurturing them even as he struggles to come to terms with his new life, in which he feels the pain of helplessly waiting for his loved ones to return home from battle that his ‘Daughter’ once felt for him so long ago. Together, Willem and the girls gradually come to understand what family means and what is truly worth protecting.
I couldn’t write this without first mentioning the montage to the overture of the traditional English ballad, ‘Scarborough Fair.’ In context, it is completely unexpected, and yet it binds the scenes together with an airy lightness that lingers through the changing shots. This sets us up with a general notion of our MC – he’s caring enough to take a woman on a tour to the highest point in the city, without prior knowledge of that woman being someone important, giving us a sense of his morals, and his personality. Aside from that one song, the OST stand up well enough on its own, fitting right in with the aesthetic.
Character design is almost reminiscent of older anime, though I get the feeling that this is a stylistic choice, rather than a lack of skill or budget on behalf of the production team. However, it doesn’t overtly detract from the episode as a whole, not at all. There are many moments when I find myself endeared towards the characters. For the most part, the animation backs this up. In a few areas it’s somewhat questionable, but it’s possible that’s a reflection of my preferences, rather than quality.
The backgrounds are settings are simply stunning, being detailed and incredibly atmospheric – in comparison to many other shows which are needlessly bland and empty. World’s End overcomes this, launching us into the fantasy land of islands and human-like-animal-people. I’m reminded of my younger days: sitting for days being engrossed within Studio Ghibli’s worlds.
Then come the lolis, quite literally bursting through the doors. Evidently they place a significant part in the narrative, as the ‘weapons,’ and they will no doubt become a big part of our main character, Willem’s life. They didn’t reveal much aside from their clumsy, cute, awkwardness. But, I suppose the next episodes will let us dig deeper with them, and what they represent.
World’s End has an interesting premise, that is at least partly original when talking about plot, if not character archetypes. There’s humour here and there, not leaving us entirely dry on that front. Yet, World’s End is not driven by humour, instead it tags along for a ride, backing up the more substantial themes and narratives that run throughout it. Bolstered by great music, and strong art direction, it could well be a keeper!
Onto the next episode!
What did you think of World’s End? Worth staying with?
Thanks for reading, as always!
-Chris (Follow me on Twitter and consider supporting Peach’s Almanac on Patreon!)