Seiken Tsukai no World Break takes place at Akane Private Academy where students who possess memories of their previous lives are being trained to use Ancestral Arts so that they can serve as defenders against monsters, called Metaphysicals, who randomly attack. Known as saviors, the students are broken up into two categories: the kurogane who are able to use their prana to summon offensive weapons and the kuroma who are able to use magic.
The story begins six months prior to the major climax of the series during the opening ceremonies on the first day of the school year. After the ceremony is over, the main character, Moroha Haimura, meets a girl named Satsuki Ranjou who reveals that she was Moroha's little sister in a past life where Moroha was a heroic prince capable of slaying entire armies with his sword skills. Soon afterwards he meets another girl, Shizuno Urushibara, who eventually reveals that she also knew Moroha in an entirely different past life where he was a dark lord capable of using destructive magic but saved her from a life of slavery. Can those whose minds live in both the present and the past truly reach a bright future? Delve into the complex world of Seiken Tsukai no World Break to find out!
#1: "Hi no Ito Rinne no Gemini (緋ノ糸輪廻ノGEMINI)" by petit milady (ep 1) #2: "Magna Idea (マグナ・イデア)" by fortuna (フォルトゥーナ) [Satsuki Ranjou (Ayana Taketatsu), Shizuno Urushibara (Aoi Yuuki), Haruka Momochi (Maaya Uchida), and Maya Shimon (Yui Ogura)] (eps 2-12)
(This has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
Poetry is an interesting form of writing when you take a step back and appreciate what it does. It can be a beautiful piece about a long lost lover or a depressing description of the death of a family member. It can be anything it wants to be because it’s, well, poetry. Some do it for fun while others do it as a hobby. Others still base their entire careers on crafting words together in intricate ways – most music is composed of lyrics that are themselves poetry. But what if it was instead used for something a bit more avant-garde? Maybe, instead of just fighting with swords and spells, people fought with words, too? Seiken Tsukai no World Break does exactly this, and it is as ridiculous as it sounds.
World Break follows young Moroha Haimura who finds himself attending Akane Academy. There, he meets two girls from his “past lives,” Shizuno Urushibara the ice mage and Satsuki Ranjou the dependent sister. Together, they fight as Saviors, defeating evil one line of prose at a time.
Whether or not it can be deemed a “feat” is questionable, but World Break does something that most anime wouldn’t have the guts to do: have their entire narrative’s foundation based on a plot contrivance. Feat or no, this is atrocious. This isn’t just a hole in the tale in the sense that they forgot to mention some important detail or they outright refuse to give it relevancy. No, what the anime does is give Moroha the capability to simply “remember.” He literally, while fighting a giant hydra or a mutated behemoth, just happens to have a recollection concerning with some part of his past, providing him with newfound knowledge in order to defeat whatever monster he happens to be fighting. This goes beyond being over-powered; main characters that are similar in strength at least have some background in regards to where their skills come from. But here, every battle involves the same unfair, random power-up at just the right moment to swing the battle in favor of Moroha and the good guys.
Yet it’s not only this broken crutch that the anime leans on. Many of the other aspects of the show don’t work because they’re unfounded or unbelievable. The aforementioned poetry is one such issue; besides being a completely silly premise, it’s nonsensical to have to write poetry in the middle of a fight in order to use one’s own abilities. Another example is the “Big Six,” a league of Saviors who are the heads of their respective countries. They seem to hold large influence, but either don’t do anything despite their positions, are uncharacteristically evil, or even become incapacitated for no other reason than to add on to the list of ever-growing coincidences. The “Transportal” being usable once a day, everyone besides Moroha being useless at what they do, Urushibara’s and Satsuki’s miraculous, deus ex machina recovery near the end of the series; there are countless instances that continually make the anime more incoherent than the last.
This all sounds like rather niche entertainment, the kind of “so bad, it’s good” media that at least provides some semblance of direction. But that’s not the case; in fact, World Break is essentially mindless in what it sets out to do. There are no themes, there is no focus, there doesn’t even exist a solitary arc that means anything to anyone. This is because our main lead is already destined for greatness, no matter where life takes him. Meaning, not only do we see that he is over-powered but it’s already predetermined that he will be. The idea that past lives have similarities across each other works against the anime, and not just there; it can be seen with Urushibara and Satsuki ending up with him. Even when there are obstacles preventing them from being with him, we “know” that they will eventually be together, and we know they will be by his side because the show’s premise dictates it being so. The finale also doesn’t have any merits. The notion that camaraderie and togetherness can change fate not only goes against everything it’s always been stating otherwise but it’s the only instance where anyone besides Moroha actually does anything, giving us no precedent for such a development. All together it’s a bunch of pointless plot points that contain zero value whatsoever.
While the quality of the art for World Break is usually low – there are serious camera issues, lighting is an afterthought, and the choreography of the action is pretty poor – it does at least give itself the chance to showcase a wide range of abilities. Various, large scale attacks such as the beasts made of thunder and lightning, the diverse kinds of magic used by the students, and the other weapons that are wielded provide the show with the opportunity to break up the monotony when it comes to not only the story it “tells” but also with the boring locales that are chosen. That last point mainly stems from where the battles take place; most of the time, they are forced to be airborne, causing the backdrops to always become cloud-filled skies. Worse still, and even though the anime is given the chance to demonstrate different skillsets, it always has to fall back on its poetry. Meaning the foreground is often littered with words and writing, which gets in the way of everything else.
The character designs tend to be hit or miss. Urushibara’s long purple hair, green eyes, and nice figure define her as the cool beauty that she is. Satsuki, likewise, has her spunky personality showcased through her fun, pink hair, yellow ribbon, and constant smiling. And Elena’s medium-length white hair and gray eyes mirror her emotionless and mysterious demeanor. The flip side contains Moroha with his single strand of silver hair to make him somehow unique, Mari’s (the principal of the academy) witch attire, and Sofia only being known for her enormous bust.
Actual animation suffers greatly for nearly the entire series. Sword swinging is often simple swipes, running is jerky and off-putting, and even when characters are sitting or talking with one another, there is hardly any movement to be had. The only portion of the show that sees increased attention is, once again, the word writing: the hand and finger motions are given nice detail since they are what take center stage at nearly all points in the show. But waving one’s hands around here and there doesn’t add up, leaving the animation in a less-than-stellar department.
What’s astounding about some of World Break’s characters is that, despite the large focus on the past, there is very little learned about any of them. And not just in the sense that their past lives are filled with nothing, for that is partially true, too. Satsuki’s only claim to fame is being Moroha’s past sister. That’s it. She isn’t strong, she isn’t fast, and she isn’t even friendly. Her personality is as one-dimensional as it comes, with her being extremely clingy and defensive of anyone getting close to her loving brother. Moroha doesn’t fare much better, either. They make passing references to his relatives’ deaths at some point in his life, as a means to demonstrate that he is “unable” to protect the ones he loves. But outside of one, one-second clip, they’re importance is insignificant. His past lives are also filled with improper explanations concerning who he is as a person; all that is shown for the longest time is that he is a really strong guy. In a way, his obtuse lack of characterization defines him as someone without a past, as a boy whose only prevalent feature being the remembering he does on a semi-frequent basis. And looking at nearly anyone else besides these two shows a glaring issue: nobody is given their past. Again, when a core facet of the anime isn’t even applied to the majority of the cast, it only serves to weaken its overall value.
“Nearly anyone” was used because, as the phrase implies, not everyone is averse to such a problem. More specifically, Elena and Urushibara do manage to use the show’s focal point to their advantage. Elena is a woman who originally worked for the Russian branch of Saviors as a kind of spy. However, she was more or less forced to do others’ biddings due to her brother being held captive. What’s interesting about her case is what is later revealed: that her past wasn’t real, or in other words, she never had a brother to begin with. In a sort of roundabout way, World Break argues that one’s past shouldn’t control what you do. It is, after all, the past, and nothing from it can be changed. Meaning, instead of letting past transgressions haunt your person, fight in the now and for the future; for it is there where the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, Elena’s character and the message she carries isn’t around for long; after her mini story-arc halfway through the series, she is subsequently pushed to the side and barely looked at again except for the occasional fan-service.
Undoubtedly the strongest character from the anime is Urushibara. Her past is mired in violence and darkness, which may be a factor that contributes to her cool and icy behavior. Having been a slave, she’s no stranger to chains, torture, and loneliness. This last detail is important, because it also highlights where her caring attitude comes from. For while she teases Moroha, Satsuki, and the others while remaining composed, it’s her previous lack of relationships that causes her to cherish the ones she has now. Initially, she finds herself in the same situation, with no one to turn to but herself. It’s not until Moroha saves her, as he did back then, that she remembers that there is always somebody there watching over you, that there is somebody thinking about and loving you. This, once again, ties back in to her keen understanding of others and the kindness she shows towards those near her.
The opening theme has a strange vibe about it. It’s weirdly “scary,” given the instruments and the other, ambient sound effects. This may be due to World Break’s reliance on the past; learning or investigating one’s background can sometimes be filled with rather frightening details. It’s oddly paced, adding further to its unsettling tone. The ending theme is beyond generic – regular singing segments and a used-too-often beat. Overall, the OP is a step-up from the ED, but not by much.
The soundtrack is laughably forgettable, save for one piece: the more choir-like track that plays during Moroha’s “past remembering” phases that adds a sense of sadness and longing. Other than this track, nothing else stands out or is even remotely memorable.
As for voice acting, that sits somewhere around average. Special shout-outs are in order for Aoi Yuuki as Urushibara for her calm yet sexy way of speaking and Ayana Taketatsu as Satsuki for never wavering when it came to giving the peppy girl her hyperactive way of talking.
Despite all of my harsh critiquing of the anime, I still found myself laughing during certain segments, particularly those involving Urushibara and Satsuki. Not only were their interactions with Moroha pretty funny and rather cute, but the relationship they had between each other – with the constant fighting, joking, and one-upping – were typical harem antics that easily put a smile on my face. Even Elena managed to get in on the action whenever she was around, adding one more girl into the equation.
But when those three weren’t around, the show took a dive. The action was never engaging due to the poetry-usage being quite silly, the “drama” didn’t move me, and the rest of the characters were tiresome to watch. I found myself not liking anything else it was doing that wasn’t dealing with Urushibara, Satsuki, or Elena’s humor and personalities. And since the show (understandably) couldn’t focus on them all of the time, I subsequently found myself not finding satisfaction all of the time, too.
Seiken Tsukai no World Break is a show that didn’t have much to begin with. While some of its characters are entertaining by themselves, everything else – from the story to the animation – drags it down. Unfortunately for this one, there will be no poems ever crafted in its honor.
Story: Terrible, narrative is founded on contrivances, nonsensical world aspects, and mindless plot elements
Animation: Bad, art is boring and distracting despite some variety, mix of good and bad character designs, with below average actual animation
Characters: Bad, Moroha, Satsuki, and the majority are very weak, Elena is okay, and Urushibara is good
Sound: Bad, okay OP, bad ED, bad soundtrack, average VA work
Enjoyment: Fine, Urushibara, Satsuki, and Elena were fun but that’s it
As a veteran harem watcher, this anime isn't entirely original in its character personalities, however it made up for it with the story it has.
The story itself is a good one, there are people who have memories of previous lives that they had and have special weapons and spells from it. The world is constantly under attack by monsters whom are fought by the said special users. That's more or less the background story, with the show centered around the main male character who turns out to be one of the strongest with a harem of girls (more detailed in characters)
The art was kind of average, it wasn't the worst but it wasn't the best either. There were some, not many, but a few instances in which it could have been better.
The sound was average like the art, it was fine but definitely could have been better.
Here's the list of rhe basic main characters:
The kind, strong main male lead.
The hyperactive girl who loves the lead, despite being a sister in a previous life.
The quiet, mean emo girl who, like the previous girl, loves the lead as having known him previously in another life
The pretty russian beauty who comes in midway in the season.
And a whole lot of other side characters.
I give it a 8 for it, despite a lot of cliche characters, had a decent story behind it, however it would have been higher if they didn't try to cram another 12 episodes worth in the last 5-6 episodes.
It was a fine anime that I enjoyed throughout the weeks that it aired, however near the end even I could see how much potential story the writers tried to cram in the last few episodes. In my eyes, this could have easily been a 10 for me but due to the lack of budget and patience the writers had, this anime didn't get the 24 episodes that it deserved.read more
If there is a generic MC with Kirito's voice, there is a way.
It is up to people who have awakened their memories of past heroic lives to stop the monsters! Or so they say, the only ones who actually use the past life plot device are the MC and his two initial love interests, in order to justify instant infatuation and "not really incest". Not a thing is mentioned about anyone else.
The story progresses as Moroha, our average, unremarkable boy, becomes self insertion fantasy incarnate. At the beginning we get the "i awakened to a strong power and won" cliche, only to turn him into the monster slaying god next episode. He has enough power to become the seventh S-rank savior in the world on episode 2, 2 weeks after awakening his powers. From there, it only ramps up the achievement ladder. The MC kicks ass on levels unseen even in other self insertion fantasy light novels.
As for the other characters, we got the "Not incestuous tsundere little sister", the rich kuudere, a deredere loli, the director, whose only role is being a teleportation gate, the band of Saviors from the school (you may forget there is a school after the first two episodes) who appear as an excuse to prove Moroha's absurd power level, and the other S-rank. The interactions among characters other than the harem are close to null, if there is any, it is sexual or is used to slip in breast jiggling.
The S-rank deserve an individual paragraph. Two episodes after it was stated that they are basically government dogs without freedom, they show you how they chill together watching Moroha and his crew struggle against an unprecedented beast while refusing to aid at all, followed by a whimsical fit where they impeded the only one who wanted to help from doing so. In later episodes they are never ordered by anyone, and even take trips to Japan on a whim. So much for the last line of defense.
By the way, there were supposedly many other Savior squads in Japan, but there is not even a glimpse of them, even when there are national level threats. So it all comes down to Moroha's goons to get the brunt of the attack while Moroha tries to remember what spell he has to use.
As for the animation, I will commend Diomedea on this one. It takes actual effort for it to be so bad. Inconsistency of size and distance, sudden jumps, choppy movement, Backgrounds moving at a different speed than the characters, embarrassingly bad CG, even the character design is terrible. If you are a modest studio and try to take on 4 anime on the same season, you are going to have a bad time.
I personally don't sense much of the BGM when I'm watching an anime, unless it is either truly epic or completely inappropriate. Since it wasn't much of an issue, I'm unable to accurately evaluate. Both the opening and the ending had some slightly irritating voices, but other than that, it passes as satisfactory.
This is a series that you can only watch if you are searching for a failure to laugh at. Since that was my objective all along, I thoroughly enjoyed myself by facepalming at misplaced eyes, sudden knockdowns and slashing at the void because there was no money to actually have a perspective where you can see the enemy being cut.
All in all, a series that will make you apologize for everything else you called bad. Every time I see a sword grow half a meter, faces disappearing on far away characters, or an MC being a boob magnet or crotch diver, I just laugh and say, it is still not bad as Seiken Tsukai no World Break.read more
This was easily the most frustrating anime I’ve ever watched. From terrible characters to a haphazard story it never showed any signs of being any good. It’s becoming a sad world where you find more of these idiotic attempts at making quick money cause of boobs than people actually putting effort into making a memorable story.
The story premise is actually kind of interesting. It’s the true highlight of the show and if left to its own devices could have generated a very likeable anime. However the story is way to wavy and it’s the lulls they really drag down the story as they are much more frequent and take up way to much of the time. If the more important parts of the story were allowed to be viewed at much more length while taking out unnecessary leisure bits it would of been much more balanced. Instead more time is invested into deciding who likes Moraho more.
It’s really hard to choose the best boobs I mean character. The person in charge of character design was handed a promising story and said “wait, we don’t have enough big boobed bitches in this story, let me add around 20 more.” And thanks to all these girls, the anime was ruined. Now I can’t blame every girl but most of them are just there to be annoying and provide fanservice. We’ll look at the main culprit, the newly named pink haired bitch, because I don’t even want to remember her name, and thank her for making it that difficult of a time. All of the melodrama came from her be it her trying to be the best sister, this one would be cringcest, or just trying to help and utterly failing. I once joked around with a friend that if they killed her off in the first four episodes I would give this show a 10/10. The only other girls of the main harem; Urushibara, and Elena and even to an extent Angela are the only girls that actually helped move the story along. Every other girl you meet except for some girls during the Russian arc are pure fanservice and become utter turn offs.
So rant over on the failed girls, how did the main male do? Well he actually was a very solid character. Bit of a cliché as the standard hero, always protecting something and awkward with the girls. Yet he’s also very quiet and is quick to become deathly serious when need be. He also stands firmly beside his morales and friends willing to take on all punishment. If this anime just centered around him it could have been so much better.
It’s not the most beautiful anime of the season, but it’s definitely not the worst. You can easily see a lot of sharpness and colour in the characters themselves. However it just achieves what I would say is standard quality for today’s anime.
I actually liked the music. It was the one part of the anime that could not be mucked up by the fanservice characters. Many strong sounding tracks that helped build up scenes. The piano version of the main theme became a very memorable piece, despite what the characters would normally act like, the moment this song played everything would just slowly calm down.
I had mix feelings on this anime. While the story could prove very interesting, the producers constantly had to force in the ecchi/harem aspects so that we might never enjoy the actual story. If they could of even toned back some of the characters it could have proved to be a fun watch. read more