WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? Series Review: Someone Save Us From These Titles

Overview:

This is a story that takes place after the world has ended, humanity has been destroyed, and the species that survive now live on floating islands. However, the beasts still attack and so fairy weapons are kept to use magic swords to fight them. Willem, the only surviving human, is recruited to take care of the fairy weapons only he learns they are young girls who are basically being sent to their deaths.

I reviewed this week to week so if you are interested in my individual episode thoughts click here.

Review:

I was not planning on watching this show this season. The excessively long title, the cute characters, everything about it just screamed that this was a light novel train wreck waiting to happen. But I did watch the first episode because I like to give things a go, and amazingly enough the first episode of this show is actually really, really good. There are issues even in that first episode with how the characters are set up and the story being a little bit nebulous, but the delivery is great, the music goes perfectly, and it is just kind of a joy to watch.

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Then what happens is we have a whole series of ups and downs. There are some truly spectacular and emotional moments in this series. There are some great character moments. There’s some funny moments. Then there’s a lot of cute girls being cute, long drawn out side stories, too many characters being given focus when they aren’t really needed, an absence of the overall plot feeling like it is progressing, and the main characters just never quite clicking into their assigned roles. The show is working hard, I’ll give it credit for that, but there’s a lot of moments during the series where dropping seems like a perfectly fine option because while this never gets to terrible, there’s a lot of episodes that aren’t good.

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Then we get to the final episode and it is like that first episode all over again. You could walk away and feel great that you made it through, stuck it out, and that it was all worth it. And really, it is. Not watching week to week, this show would be signficantly better because a lot of that fluffing about in the middle wouldn’t feel so drawn out and the bits of narrative would feel closer together. Not to mention, you would get that excellent ending so much earlier and you probably wouldn’t be trying to pick it to pieces.

So I’m left wondering if I enjoyed this series overall or not.

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I’m going with yes. For all that there are definitely lows in this series and they probably could have halved the character count and actually ended up with a more focussed story, I really did enjoy spending time with Willem and Chtholly. Okay, part of my enjoyment comes from just how broken both of these characters are inside even while they smile and joke and try to carry everyone else (I really do have a thing for characters like this and I’ve never understood why but if I lined up my favourite characters they would all be very broken people). But part of my enjoyment comes from the fact that they are characters that you want to know more about and you want to see them somehow get through what they are facing even when you know they aren’t going to. While the romance aspect didn’t work so well for me with these two, I definitely feel the two connected and needed one another and that worked really well and made the final all the more satisfying.

Oh and did I mention the music. The music is a real selling point for this one.

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However, I’m certain I said this somewhere in my write ups while watching this, I feel that now that the show is done, I’d like a different team to take it apart, cut out all the excess and unnecessary bits, and put together that much better story that runs through the whole thing. It would end up half the length but I think it could be spectacular. Those moments are there already, but they are getting buried beneath average sequences and scenes and scenes that are good but have no purpose here (and while they might be setting up later events for the story, they don’t do anything for the narrative in this series).

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Overall, I’d definitely recommend trying this but just know going in that this show is very uneven in its tone and delivery. You’ll be on the edge of your seat, smiling, crying, nodding along in one sequence and in another you’ll just be sitting back wondering when they are going to get back to something that matters (and please can something squish the green fairy girl now, I don’t want to go shopping with her again).


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WorldEnd Episode 12

Review:

I was kind of wondering where this show would end given how it began, and it doesn’t really disappoint. The final episode is extremely reminiscent of the first, including bringing back specific scenes we saw at the start of the first episode and the great use of music (missed that during the middle of this series). Basically the fight to save the airship continues and comes to its conclusion. If you want to know how the overall war goes or the whole story with the floating islands or even what is going to happen to the other fairy weapons, sorry to say but you are going to end up disappointed.

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This episode really takes us through Willem’s mind-set before Chtholly swoops in to save the day in spectacular, though slightly suicidal, fashion.

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While their relationship has never really been all that believable, this final episode really makes you feel the connection between them (even if you still don’t buy it as a romance). The fight sequence that has them both running an internal monologue mirroring the other’s really works and makes this final sequence quite touching (the music helps a lot with this). The episode then ends and while at first it feels complete you then just think about the sheer number of unanswered questions and realise this story is nowhere near done and yet the show has just given you a farewell.

I’ll write a whole series review soon, but this final episode was a very solid way for this show to end.

WorldEnd is available on Crunchyroll.


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WorldEnd Episode 11

Review:

I’ve definitely come to the conclusion during the course of watching this show that Willem is an idiot. A well intentioned, hard working, fairly knowledgable, idiot. He’s already understood that things don’t work out for him and that the world is not that kind. He’s already come to terms with failing to succeed at something even when he sets his mind to it. And yet, for some reason he seems to think that making grandiose promises with the girl he’s been treating like a child will somehow result in a happy future for anyone.

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The only positive to come out of this is that Willem’s inner voice manifests himself as a younger version of Willem and essentially tears apart the flimsy rationales that Willem’s been clinging to. Go tiny Willem delusion.

And then they seem determined to throw us into a final battle like sequence even though there’s been pretty much no build up, we don’t actually know why there are so many beasts attacking, and the second airship broke and they couldn’t escape quickly because you know, plot.

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As much as The Royal Tutor has been a pleasant surprise this season, WorldEnd has mostly been a downward spiral of disappointment, made worse by what it could have been. Anyway, one episode to go.

WorldEnd is available on Crunchyroll.


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WorldEnd Episode 10

Review (Spoiler warning for the second half of the episode in case you haven’t watched):

We’ve come a long way and nowhere in this series. While the reveals were coming thick and fast this episode it also indulged in one of my pet hates. Flash backs within the episode. If a character says something at the start of the episode, please assume I can remember it for twenty minutes. I don’t need a dramatic pause and then a full flash back of the character saying it again.

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If it is that important, make sure it sticks the first time. It would be different if this was a conversation heard say three episodes ago. Even then, given how little actual information we have and how much cutesy filler there has been, it is unlikely we’d forget a question about the beasts that had yet to be answered.

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And yet, this show lingers over Willem’s revelation even as the audience rolls their eyes at how laborious they are making this. We’d more or less figured this one out on our own from previous half complete exposition and Willem’s overwrought reaction to something he’s ignored even looking for an answer to, as well as the drawn out nature of the scene, just kind of makes the whole thing almost amusing.

Until he asks Chtholly to marry him. Boy that came out of nowhere given how their relationship has seemed mostly one sided in the romantic department up until now. More importantly, could you raise a more obvious death flag. Maybe we should be saying our goodbye’s to Chtholly’s personality right here and now except that I doubt this show will actually follow through with destroying who she is. Regardless of how they save her it is going to feel like a cheap plot device but that’s more or less what I’m expecting from this show at this point.

WorldEnd is available on Crunchyroll.


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WorldEnd Episode 9

Review:

This episode continues to focus on Chtholly and her disintegration, focussing on her loss of memories. Early in the episode Ithea reveals that she did in fact lose her memories and woke up in a body that wasn’t her and the only reason she’s been able to pretend to be the person everyone knew was because she read the diary left behind by the previous Ithea. This seems a little far-fetched that someone could mimic another based on reading their diary and kind of undermines the totally different person theory if the only actual difference is a lack of memories. More importantly, what it reveals is that the fairy doesn’t die or lose their power because Ithea has been bouncing around and fighting anyway.

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So, for something that should have been a fairly massive reveal (character you thought you knew turned out to be a fake), it actually amounts to pretty much nothing.

There was another question I came upon in this episode and that is the idea of the dug weapons being made up of other charms. This we’ve been told before but in this episode Willem actually has removed a charm from one of the weapons to use (for a pretty trivial purpose).

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Part of me wonders if this is foreshadowing something with the weapons or whether it is just another random occurence in a show that continues to seem really uneven in its execution. Anyway, I wasn’t really sold on this episode. It’s watchable but doesn’t really hit any of the emotional marks it seems to aim for and unless you were desperate to see Chtholly in a wedding dress there’s really not a lot to recommend this particular episode.

WorldEnd is available on Crunchyroll.


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WorldEnd Episode 8

Review:

This episode felt long. I know it went the same length of time as every other episode but honestly when this got to the midway point I had to wonder why it wasn’t already finished as it felt like I’d been watching forever.

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Turns out the destroyed ship from last week with the two fairies we had never heard of was investigating the city Willem was born in. Why that might be significant I have no idea because it isn’t as though we’ve been told that anything started there or that it might be a place of significance. Apparently they found a sword there that Willem thinks might help Chtholly but to be honest she seems pretty happy just floating around on a pseudo date with him.

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Seriously this show has an interesting concept and there have been some truly great moments but there is so much of this mundane drag in between and as we move toward the end of the series it feels less and less okay and more like needless filler.

In case we were considering passing on any more of this series though, the last five minutes once again decides to hook us in and it does a very good job of that by actually making the situation feel as dramatic as it probably should be. Honestly, I have no idea at this point if I like this show or not.

WorldEnd is available on Crunchyroll.


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WorldEnd Episode 7

Review:

We are introduced to two new fairies this week (though this show can’t decide if they are fairies, leprechauns or spirits at this point and seem to use the terms more or less interchangeably depending on how cryptic they’d like to be at the time).¬† They don’t get a lot of time in the spotlight, mostly at the beginning and the end, and mostly they don’t leave much of a lasting impression other than the fact that one of them likes to read books that might be text books, fairy tales or prophecies and really doesn’t seem to know the difference.

Most of the rest of the episode seems to be dealing with Ctholly and her recovery from you know nearly losing her mind. Nothing that cake, a few tears, and the encouragement of becoming a bride can’t fix. There’s definitely something more going on with the red hair so I’m guessing her former life isn’t going to just give up that easily, but they don’t spend a lot of time on that in this episode. We also have the added concern of not knowing if Ctholly will be able to fight anymore and whether or not that will matter to the military who may still dispatch her to fight a beast.

I’ve said it before but this show has got some real promise and some episodes have been very good, but this one spent a lot of time just kind of waffling along and didn’t really seem to accomplish much of anything.

WorldEnd is available on Crunchyroll.


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WorldEnd Episode 6

Review:

WorldEnd as a series continues to run incredibly hot and cold. There are some truly amazing moments and well delivered scenes where everything just falls perfectly into place complete with atmospheric music. Then there’s all the stuff in between where you wonder if you are even watching the same show.

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This episode was no exception to that conflict that’s been bugging me since episode 2. While Willem reuiniting with someone who knew him from 500 years ago certainly allowed for some timely flashbacks, some new information about how the world came to be the way it is, as well as a few obvious conspiracies thrown in, it also opened up some poor comedy choices and some fairly lack lustre characterisation.

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As such, it was the plot built around Chtholly that stole the emotions this week even if the early threads of this plot didn’t exactly make it seem that fascinating. I will give her this, she certainly makes the most creepy visions unlike Willem’s earlier luke-warm effort at traumatic nightmares.

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While the ending of this sequence was ultimately predictable, it was emotionally rewarding even as it opened up yet more questions than it answered about the fairies and the world.

WorldEnd is available on Crunchyroll.


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WorldEnd Episode 5

Review:

Well we did get a flash back of the fight on island 15 which revealed a new enemy other than the one they were already fighting. But why spend time worrying about that when there is sightseeing and the luring of cliché gang bosses to be had.

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Seriously. What was the point of this interlude? And Willem’s solution?

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Back away from the crazy person.

Anyway, after all of the silly antics of eating food, seeing famous lizard movie spots and then taking out some really terrible villains of the week this show gets to a point with Chtholly admitting she’s in love with Willem before he gets asked by some other military guy to go with him. Willem of course refused but then the guy drops some random name into the conversation. It’s possible we’ve heard it before and equally possible we haven’t, but Willem pretty much ditches the girls at that point. He does promise Chtholly he’ll return but let’s be honest, they weren’t exactly being subtle in showing him looking away from her when he made that promise and we know how well it went the first time a girl asked him to promise to return.

This show continues to be enjoyable enough to watch. It hasn’t really lived up to its first episode at any point since, but it is working well enough even if at times it feels a bit flat.

Side note, Willem got slapped by another girl this episode. You would think he’d learn to at least dodge by now.

WorldEnd is available on Crunchyroll.


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WorldEnd Episode 4

Review:

My criticism of this series is probably going to be the same for the rest of its run (unless it does something truly horrendous). There’s actually some really interesting elements to the world and the story here, unfortunately they are shrouded underneath layers of light novel tropes that just don’t seem to fit into the basic premise for the show.

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This episode really feels like it wants to tear itself in half and it seems like that was a deliberate choice to create contrast between the happy sightseeing and occasional fan-service moments (did we really need to see her check up, really, did it add anything?) and the darker moments as Willem tries to settle his fears for Chtholly and the rest of the fairies who have gone to fight. I quite like Willem’s character (despite his more generic moments) and the dreams he’s having, flashes of anxiety, and the rest as well as his near shut down when given ambiguous (or false) information were all interesting within this episode.

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And while I appreciate that seeing him put a smile on for the younger fairy and try to distract her is a nice contrasting point, it really all feels like padding as ultimately this episode reveals one more fact about the fairies themselves and that lizard romance stories are popular at the cinema, before we finally get the point. And even then, what might be a touching and dramatic moment is kind of shattered with the most standard of tropes as the girl slaps him across the face without any real provocation.

WorldEnd is available on Crunchyroll.


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