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Anime Review: WorldEnd: What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? (2017)

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

Region A USA Blu-Ray Cover.

Region A USA Blu-Ray Cover.

Quick Summary:

Director: Jun’ichi Wada
Distributor: Funimation Entertainment
Runtime: 300 minutes
Availability: Streaming on FunimationNow English Dubbed, streaming English subbed on Crunchyroll

Story Summary:

In WorldEnd What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? (2017) it'st’s been 500 years since humanity went extinct and now various creatures reside on islands in the sky. They are protected by young girls, called Leprechauns that fight the beasts when they attack cities on the sky island. The last remaining human Willem Kmetsch befriends the fairy Chtholly-Nota-Seniorious and is offered a job to be the fairies caretaker. He accepts the job and has to learn to come to terms with the loss of his friends from the past even as he becomes closer to Chthollly.

I will refer to the anime as WorldEnd (2017) because that title is far too long.

A Breath of Fresh Air in the Anime Fantasy Genre!

It’s no secret that both the light novel and anime genres are oversaturated by the fantasy genre. Specifically, the sub-genre of fantasy in Japan called “isekai” translated into English it means “another world”. In these stories the male protagonist is transported to a fantasy world and is ridiculously overpowered and has no difficulties defeating enemies and opponents, he soon has a harem of girls that have all fallen in love with him.

You can change the characters names, designs, and worlds, but these male power fantasies have become so generic in the light novel genre that Kadokawa banned them from their light novel contests.

It also makes reading the light novels or watching their anime adaptations become tedious because most of the time, none of these stories bring anything new or fresh to the subgenre and a people like me that love fantasy stories just sigh and roll my eyes at another generic fantasy story with the Stock Light Novel Hero.

The fact that WorldEnd (2017) defies the light novel norms and actually puts genuine effort into the world-building makes it stand out from its other fantasy counterparts that just use role-playing game mechanics is what makes it special. It’s the furthest thing from a power fantasy and it doesn’t need to pull a protagonist from our world as a gimmick for the audience to relate to the characters.

While western fantasy authors are coming up with new fantasy worlds, they haven’t fallen into the Isekai trap of always making their fantasy stories have transplanted protagonists from our world, Japan fell into the trap because it’s easy world-building that is easy to use to grab the attention of NEETs in Japan.

It’s also refreshing to see humans are not the dominant spies in the fantasy world, it makes the setting unique because it’s not something that usually happens in fantasy stories. It also gives Willem a lot of angst because he has to come to terms with the fact that all his friends are dead.

To have a Japanese author actually care about the genre they’re writing about to truly be creative and make a whole new universe that doesn’t rely on videogame mechanics is such a breath of fresh air, and the adaptation of the light novel was also very well done, with genuinely great character writing and nice character interactions among the cast members.

Willlem and Chthollly

Willlem and Chthollly

I Love the Character Interactions and Mature Behavior from the Characters:

In a many anime, manga and light novels, many authors only stick to typical anime tropes like Accidental Pervert and Cannot Spit it Out. While the anime does play with these tropes a lot, they are actually resolved in the writing because the characters actually behave like adults and not like teenagers, even though Chtholly is 15, she has the maturity of a teenager while Willem acts like an adult because he is one.

I also like how the characters are able to have legitimate conversations regarding their relationship with each other. I like how they are willing to talk to each other about how they feel.

It’s a breath of fresh air to see good character interactions

WorldEnd (2017) Japanese PV:

The Animation is Fantastic!

Anime animation Studios Satelight and C2C did an amazing job animating this anime. The animation isn’t over-the-top and flashy that often, but it has nice character designs.

The fight scenes look really good when they do happen and everything looks fantastic throughout the anime. It is just nice and does everything very well when it comes to the art style and animation.

There is so much beautiful imagery in this anime and it’s just amazing, sure the fights aren’t the flashiest you’ll ever see in anime, but they have a lot of weight and meaning behind them. There are a lot of background details that are very nice and look good.

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The anime looks great and it has very nice animation and I definitely like how everything looks. It’s very nice animation and you won’t be disappointed when it comes to the visual aesthetics.

The Voice Acting is Fantastic!

The English dub is fantastic! I’m not just saying this since I primarily listen to English dubs; WorldEnd (2017) is just a fantastic and well-acted English dub. Many Funimation English dubs are good, but it’s always great to find a fantastic dub when they’re putting out so many dubs every month.

Amber Lee Connors is fantastic as Chtholly-Nota-Seniorious, she did a great job voicing her character. She does have experience voice acting in the Dragon Ball Z Abridged series on YouTube. I don’t have any experience with her voice acting on YouTube; I only have experience with her official work in this anime. She did a wonderful job as Chtholly and I loved her in this role.

Micah Solusad is wonderful as Willem-Kmetsch; he did an amazing job in this role. I have enjoyed many roles that he has played over the years and Willem Kmetsch is another wonderful role that adds to the list of many memorable characters that he’s voiced. He gave a wonderful performance, and he was a great choice for this role.

Alexis Tipton did a fantastic job voicing Nephren-Ruq-Insania. I really love her work and she was just great in this role. She was excellent and I’ve always enjoyed anime she has been cast in. This was definitely one of her roles that I enjoyed a lot.

Brittney Karbowski is great voicing Ithea-Myse-Valgulious, and I know, she’s in practically every Sentai Filmworks English dub in recent memory, but she’s a fantastic voice actress and I really enjoy her in this anime, fortunately, I don’t have voice actress fatigue when it comes to hearing her in anime.

Charles Campbell is hilarious as Souwong-Kandel. I really enjoyed his performance and he made his character an interesting and entertaining one. He was a great choice for this role.

The English cast is fantastic and made the English dub really stand out. The Japanese dub is also great so you’ll be happy no matter what your language preference is.

SukaSuka OP/Opening Theme - "DEAREST DROP" by Azusa Tadokoro:

The Music is Amazing:

Tatsuya Katō’s music is amazing, I’ve heard that he’s not always outstanding but the score is excellent for this anime. I love the music and it suits the anime and the tragic story that is being told on the screen.

The opening for the anime is "DEAREST DROP" by Azusa Tadokoro is an excellent opening, and it’s a very surprising one because of the story’s genre. I enjoyed it a lot.

The ending is "From" (フロム) by TRUE, the same artist who sang the opening “Sincerely” for Violet Evergarden (2018) and it’s a very nice ending song.

What really makes the soundtrack stand out are the insert songs “Always in my Heart” and “Scarborough Fair” sung by Tamaru Yamada. These songs are interwoven with the story flawlessly and they are the most memorable songs in the soundtrack.

The music is fantastic and I’ll be buying this soundtrack and importing it from Japan.

SukaSuka OST "Scarborough Fair" by Tamaru Yamada:

This Anime Made Me Cry:

I’ll put this as an important part of this review; I don’t cry watching anime, TV or movies. There have to be very special circumstances that will get me to cry over what happens to characters in anime. I do not fall for emotionally manipulative gimmicks that anime tends to use to get people to cry.

Writers have to give me writing and characterization that really makes me care about what happens to them in the story. While I enjoy well-written stories, the ones that really work at pulling your heartstrings for tearjerker moments try so hard it’s blatantly obvious, it completely pulls me out of caring for the characters when the writing screams, “You need to cry and be sad for these characters right now!”

WorldEnd (2017) while it is not a flawless story it is flawless in how it made me care about Chtholly and Willem, and that is a testament to the excellent writing for the story. The scene in episode that made everyone including me cry was executed perfectly and because of all the effort put into characterization and good character interactions and writing, it was an excellent payoff that didn’t feel emotionally manipulative at all, it felt natural and the climax of the story was perfectly executed in both animation, music and inner monologue that made me cry, and I’m not one to do that.

So while it is likely you will cry watching this anime, I’m not going to say that everyone will cry. You will only have an emotional reaction if you’re attached to the characters; I did form an emotional attachment to them. The English dub was also fantastic and that just added to it.

Willem and Chtholly sparring.

Willem and Chtholly sparring.

The Pacing is Slow:

The pacing of WorldEnd (2017) is slow at first; if you’re not intrigued by the first episode you probably won’t be interested in finishing the anime. While the slow pacing is for character development and character interactions, some viewers won’t be interested in wanting to sit through the slower episodes. It’s well worth sitting through these episodes but if you want an exciting anime, this might not be the one for you

Willem in an emotional moment with Chtholly.

Willem in an emotional moment with Chtholly.

This is an Emotional, Excellent and Beautiful Anime:

WorldEnd (2017) is a wonderful anime that is beautiful in both the tragic story it tells, the beautiful visuals, the excellent English and Japanese dubs, the lovely soundtrack, it all comes together in a tragedy that will stay with you after you’ve finished watching the anime.

It was very popular in 2017 and it’s one that is worth your time to watch, even if you don’t like romance anime. Interestingly enough, it’s not a shojo light novel aimed at teenage girls, it’s a seinen light novel aimed at men.

Since the anime will be available on Blu-Ray/DVD in September it will be bought by fans that enjoyed watching it when it was airing. I loved this anime a lot and I’ll be adding it to my anime collection.

My Grade: A+:

WorldEnd: What are you doing at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? (2017) Is a wonderful anime that moved me on an emotional level. It is not flawless or perfect, but it does everything right in how it develops its doomed characters and make the relationship between Chtholly and Willem a believable and relatable one.

I loved the animation, the voice acting, the soundtrack and most of all, the story. It’s an anime that I’ll be buying because it’s worth the money to support it and not just watch ads on Crunchyroll or just on FunimationNow.

I highly recommend you buy this anime, it is a fantastic anime on many levels and a breath of fresh air if you’re tired of typical Isekai fantasy anime. Now, is it worth paying the initial expensive price right when the anime is released? It depends, I’m a cheapskate when it comes to anime, so I’ll be waiting for Black Friday and seeing it if will be put on sale.

It’s definitely worth your time to watch and purchase the anime. But if you want to wait for a sale and not pay the expensive initial price for the anime you can.

I loved this anime and it’s worth it for me to own it, I can’t quite recommend a blind buy because anime is always expensive. But you should give the anime a try because it’s fantastic and well worth the time to watch it. I can’t ask for a better anime romance or tragedy and I’ll never forget Chtholly and Willem.

The light novel written by Akira Kareno has been licensed by Yen Press. Volume 1 is available for purchase on Kindle or hard copy. Volume 2 will be available November 13th, 2018.

My Rating:

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