Putting his life on the line, Willem Kmetsch leaves his loved ones behind and sets out to battle the "Beasts," terrifying creatures that have emerged on the Earth's surface and now threaten humanity's existence. In battle, he falls into an icy slumber and upon awakening 500 years later, finds himself to be the sole survivor of mankind's annihilation.
Together with the other surviving races, Willem takes refuge on the floating islands in the sky, living in fear of the Beasts below. He lives a life of loneliness and only does odd jobs to get by. One day, he is tasked with being a weapon storehouse caretaker. Thinking nothing of it, Willem accepts, but he soon realizes that these weapons are actually a group of young Leprechauns. Though they bear every resemblance to humans, they have no regard for their own lives, identifying themselves as mere weapons of war. Among them is Chtholly Nota Seniorious, who is more than willing to sacrifice herself if it means defeating the Beasts and ensuring peace.
Willem becomes something of a father figure for the young Leprechauns, watching over them fondly and supporting them in any way he can. He, who once fought so bravely on the frontlines, can now only hope that the ones being sent to battle return safely from the monsters that destroyed his kind.
Did you ever get that feel of "this could be great if" while reading or watching something? This feel is exactly what this anime is about. A story with huge potential, but undermined. Undermined by the author's lack of proper writing skills. By conventions of a degenerated form of writing. And by a not so good adaptation.
This show can pass by as your average light novel adaptation with ease. Hella long title you won't remember no matter what. A cast of characters with names difficult to read or memorize. Male MC that shoves up people's ass his set of morals once in a while. MC's
love interest that goes melodramatic and cry several times. Yet you can find here the tragedy of a man. A man that lost everything, and ends up in some state of suspended animation until he is awaken many years later in a "foreign" world (Captain America, huh?). The cute heroine is actually a weapon of mass destruction that can die any time for the sake of the world. High stakes for the love interests and the risk of emotional loss could make this a great love story, right?
Problem is, the show couldn't decide whenever it wanted to be a dull light novel adaptation or a good story. This leaded to a confusing presentation and lack of self-awareness. Say, they present you with a little depth of Willem's character. It is reedeming and set him as a "not your typical LN male MC at all". And, show a few seconds later one of the most cringe-inducing reactions that a plain tsundere girl can have. Breakdowns like this are destructive to suspension of disbelief.
But in the long run, the show saves itself from the mediocrity valley. Remember the love story? What blooms here is the most organic romance I have seen in anime, at least in a while. Never two people falling in love with each other felt so natural. Chtholly (I swear I didn't look up the character list) slowly evolves into a housewife in hopes to become a better person for Willem. Willem in turn tries to overcome his own fears of another loss so he can give Chtholly the love she deserves. Both of them reach the stage of mutual love step by step. It's simple, but it works.
The show goes up and down since episode one, between LN's conventions and good writing. There's a immersive post-apocalyptic setting. A well-tied set of emotional stakes, great OST and some gorgeous visuals. But there are one-sided characters, with single tropes defining them. Also a typical LN setup, and some crappy CGI.
As bad as this series might sound, it's good enough. At least, the LN medium isn't completely doomed. The guy who wrote this is talented, but needs to polish his skills and broaden his writing experience, which seems narrow yet.
"How do you fall in love at the end of the world?" - This alone would be a better name, although still long. Keep your titles short and easy to read they say. The name "SukaSuka" means nothing to me. So how I'm supposed to call for this show?
When you see a title this long, it really raises the question if the creator put as much as creativity into his work as they did into the title. The original light novel is 5 volumes long while the anime adaptation is 12 episodes. So in essence, it shouldn’t be hard to adapt this into something fans can accept right? Well, that’s not entirely easy to answer as this show isn’t so easily recommendable to anyone. I will say this though, SukaSuka isn’t your typical fantasy thriller that just jumps right into the action. In fact, it’s far more than that as this series attempts
to craft a tearjerking fantasy drama to reach expectations.
I have to admit, watching SukaSuka took me some time to accept the story. The first few episodes has an atmospheric feel with its world setting, characters, and plot. We meet Willem, the male protagonist who happens to be the last human in a post-apocalyptic world. The show makes it clear that humans are extinct as the anime opens up with a battle scene involving them and the Beasts. Flash forward into the present timeline and we see how the world has changed since then. Now there are floating islands that feel so isolated from each other despite being populated with otherworldly species. One of the most prominent of these species are the Leprechauns, characters who can wield ancient Dug weapons that can destroy Beasts. In the meantime, Willem meets Chtholly, a leprechaun with a mysterious past. The show establishes Willem as a friend, father figure, and comrade for the Leprechauns.
Right off the bat, I can say that SukaSuka’s characters are quite mysterious. Chtholly has a peculiar past that is explored throughout the show. Willem also has a past that I can say it’s too pleasant to remember. Then, there are the Leprechauns. The show creates an eerie feel as it blends them with child innocence and unsettling fear. It’s through revelations that Willem realizes what they really are and their roles in this series. Now, the more I got curious about the show, the more I wonder how the story plans to develop Willem and Chtholly’s relationship. Thankfully, this series doesn’t neglect their presence together and as each episode progresses, we learn more about the both of them. Character chemistry between Willem and Chtholly is also what I describe as charming that develops from friendship to romance. Willem also serves as a father figure for the younger Leprechauns. And in turn, the Leprechauns seems to grow really fond of him. This also brings a different side of the show as Willem realizes that the Leprechauns has a lack of fear. Because of this, the show makes it clear that Willem wants to avert any tragedy that can bestow on them. This goes to show how much Willem cares about the Leprechauns. It may also be possible that Willem doesn’t want history to repeat itself because of the way humans were wiped out. Regardless of how others treat him, he hopes to be a light of hope in this post-apocalyptic world.
As a show with many species, you’ll often see characters that are far from ordinary. Besides Leprechauns, there are also trolls, goblins, and many other type of characters with animal traits. This also brings a racial issue into the show. It puts Willem into a compromising position at times as certain races does not like his presence in their world. (for their own personal reasons) However, what I do find interesting about this series is Willem’s main role. Does he play the role of a hero or someone that just wants to avoid tragedy again? It’s hard to judge entirely based on the characterization alone so in retrospect, the show leaves it more open ended for viewers to decide.
Despite my initial impression of SukaSuka, I still find that the show suffers from several problems that holds itself back. First, the show really doesn’t avoid generic pitfalls you see in typical light novel adaptations. While the show has minimal fan service, it still has the cringe moments between Willem and various female characters. One particular trope (played out more as a joke) are the massages that attempts to make scenes sound much more lascivious than it appears to be. Not to mention, SukaSuka’s comedy feels really dry at times. It hardly make me laugh and although I realize the show isn’t built for that, it doesn’t even manage to ever draw a chuckle from me. Furthermore, I can’t really say the character relationship building outside of Willem/Chtholly to be worth mentioning. Oh and in terms of adaptation standards, the show does add some original content in attempt to make the story flow better. Does it really work out? That’s for me to know and you to find out.
Taking a look at the animation, I have to admit that SukaSuka captured the atmospheric setting right along with its world fiction. Essentially, the atmospheric setting brings a spiritual feel. The character designs also has variety with the wide range of different hair styles and colors; with a credible reason too beyond just being decorative especially for the Leprechauns. The action is captivating and feels magical with getting its point across. While the series doesn’t have graphic violence, it does contain blood to show the dreadful feel of its story. The Beasts are also designed with a malevolent nature and some of them reminds me of Lovecraftian horror fiction. Character expressions is realistic and very human like with most of its characters.
Soundtrack is distinguishable with a combination of being melancholic, haunting, and cheerful. As I had expected, the theme songs are very moody with its choreography. The character voicing acting also connects well with their personalities in particular with Willem, Chtholly, and Grick. As most of the Leprechauns are quite young, stepping into the shoes of these characters is not easy. However, I am proud to say that the show captured their roles pretty damn well and make you connected to them.
The tenderness of this show is what attracted me to watching this. I have to admit, SukaSuka has a sublime-like creativity with its world setting and story. I wasn’t too invested into the characters at first though over time, Willem and Chtholly’s relationship started to really grown to me. Still, like most light novel adaptations these days, SukaSuka falls into the trap of generic tropes. Furthermore, I don’t think this series is recommendable for anyone especially those that have less tolerance towards moody shows. I’d still give it a try though. It’s not a masterpiece but for a title that’s longer than 3 sentences, it does earn more attention than that.
SukaSuka is a post-apocalyptic fantasy anime that follows Wilhelm, a human that has been frozen for 500 years, who after being recovered finds out that humanity and the entire world has been decimated by some plant like beasts. He now lives with all the remaining races in some islands in the sky, and during one eventful day he conveniently meets a human looking girl and they spend the day with each other until it was time to depart home. After a few circumstances, mostly pertaining to his physical appearance, Wilhelm as tasked to take care of a certain place for the military which he accepts.
When he gets there he is meet by a group of girls who live in an orphanage like building and it is revealed that they are fairies known as leprechauns who are the islands defence against the beast due to them being able to handle certain weapons that can fight against the beasts.
The first part of the series mostly focuses on wilhelm taking care of the girls along with Nygglatho a human looking women despite being a troll. There are a plethora of girls in the show, but most of them are young and get very little focus except one who serves more as an example for the way leprechauns are. The main girls are Chtholly, Nephren, and Ithea, but the story mostly focuses on Chyholly and Wilhelm and how they build a mutual relationship over the course of the show. The show also does some decent world building, or at least better than most fantasy anime. Many fantasy races live within close proximity to each other( a common staple in most fantasy anime), but for this show it’s not because they want to, but because they have to since the islands are the only safe places to be. Even then it doesn’t hold will as there are some scenes of racial tensions between races especially against disfeatured due to how human looking they were. Some bits of a city's culture were explored due to how one race was influential to it. the orgin of the islands and leprechauns are looked into and how they came into being.the mechanics of the dug weapons are neat as well. However in the end it’s at best decent since most of it is really skin deep due to the anime having to focus on the otherwise lackluster story.
The story is lackluster since the anime is overtly melodramatic throughout it’s run time since it promises a tragedy at the end of its course and tries its best for the viewer to feel emotional in the end. The anime always tries to make sure of this with its focus on Chtholly, our tragic heroine of the show, as she has to undergo external internal mental struggles after her fight with the beasts. She was a decently written character, but it’s a shame how most of it will be discarded in order for the show to make her death more tragic. Along with her on the ride is Wilhelm who is also a decently written character as the show goes through his past as a “brave”, a group of generic heroes, and some of the things he’s done that lead to the present despite being gone for 500 years. He has a easy going and collected attitude, but underneath that demeanor is someone with regrets and pain, and will do anything to make Chtholly and the other girls happy. However other than them not many other characters are that well fleshed out despite some of them having some importance to the story.
Production wise the show looks and sounds good. The art looks very standard as well as the character designs and setting. The animation was decent as well with mostly consistent quality throughout its run. Some notable parts for the art/animation are usually for the wings as well as Chtholly’s mind scenes, but the downside would be how dull the beasts look. The sound for the show is good as well with many of the voice acting fitting thier roles. The Ost for the show is also good mostly to fit the tone of the scene, but sometimes it’s allowed to be the only sound playing in order to set a certain atmosphere
Overall there are alot of good things about this show when it comes to the production, and some of the ideas of the story. However the problem is what the story tries to focus on as well as how it tries to execute it. It’s a show that tries to present something well meaning and emotional, but fails to deliver.
(Please note, there are many spoilers in this review)
I typed up probably seven different openers for this review before realizing that nothing I say can possibly prepare you for what's to come. This introduction, or lack thereof, actually goes on to mimic the underlying themes of this series in more ways than one. WorldEnd (Which also goes by the incredibly long title of 'What Are You Doing At The End Of The World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us?') is more than just the hyperdramatic adaptation of a light novel going by the same name, it's a story about never being prepared; it's a
story about how everything in life comes and goes far too quickly for us to comprehend. But, at the same time, so much of the beauty in life can only be leeched from it due to its apparent absence in the first place.
WorldEnd is a series that can, by no means, be nailed down to one general concept. The scope of its meaning is as vast as the world it takes place in -- a world in which humanity has all but vanished. The remaining life forms have taken to the skies, building civilizations upon floating islands and relying on creatures known as 'Leprechauns' to fight in a never-ending war. The leprechauns in WorldEnd, however, are not your typical Irish, fun-loving drunkards. Instead, they are girls born from children who died before having anything to live for, and the main leprechaun who we follow throughout WorldEnd goes by the name Ctholly Nota Seniorious.
Ctholly initially comes off as a sort of aloof, curious girl, struggling to fit in with a world full of disfeatured humanoids. The irony in this, however, is that those without extreme physical deformities (Or those who appear human) are actually the ones known as the 'disfeatured' in WorldEnd. Partway through the pilot, we are also introduced to the second protagonist, Willem Kmetsch, as he encounters Ctholly for the first time. After showing her around the island for a bit, Ctholly departs and Willem is left on his own. Having recently fallen on hard times, he reluctantly takes on a job as the caretaker for a nearby military facility. Of course, he doesn't really understand what he's getting himself into until he shows up and it's less of a warehouse and more of an orphanage full of young girls. And while this seems like a pain to him at first, his attitude takes a dramatic shift when he realizes that these girls are the only weapons civilization has left.
This is the first sign of tragedy out of many. Yes, the idea of young girls being used as weapons is rather unfortunate and incredibly sad. But throughout the next eleven episodes, the series begins to steamroll down a path in which we grow attached to every single one of them only to have those relationships severed and beaten by the end of the series. The most dramatic of all of these relationships, however, is the budding romance that slowly begins to flourish between Ctholly and Willem.
Without giving away everything, something happens to Ctholly that begins to drain her sanity. Slowly but surely, her memories begin to fade and her hair begins to change colors, turning into a violent shade of red instead of her normal, subtle blue. The shift in hair colors is not just a shift in appearance, however. This physical change mimics the drastic mental change that is occurring within her at the same time. Ctholly is bombarded with confusing images and the voice of tortured young girl, speaking in eerie metaphors. And while none of what this voice is saying makes sense to us, the sheer manner in which they are said is enough to signify the deterioration of her psyche. The worst part of this is that Ctholly knows what's happening to her.
Day after day, Ctholly remembers less of herself and clings tightly to the one thing she knows for sure -- that she's in love. She tosses aside her slightly-tsun outlook from earlier in the series and simply adopts the fact that she loves Willem, making it known to him every chance she gets. And while he spends a decent amount of time avoiding the subject, it's clear that Willem feels the same way. The steamrolling tragedy that we all know is coming screeches to a halt and, for just the slightest moment, everything is perfect.
But then it's not.
Willem takes Ctholly to a nearby military ship after catching wind of a weapon that could help her fading consciousness. When tuning one of the other leprechauns weapons, however, he discovers something that stays with him for the rest of the series. The monsters that these girls have been fighting have actually been humans the entire time. And while exactly how that happened remains open to interpretation for us viewers, it's crystal clear to Willem. His vision and outlook become distorted and he begins to lose his grip on reality in a way both incredibly similar and incredibly different to Ctholly.
The final episode is like lighting -- it comes and it goes quicker than we're able to comprehend. Ctholly loses her grip on reality as battle breaks loose and slips into a coma. Willem, incapable of coping with the thought that this might be the end for her, erupts into a hate-fueled rage, slaughtering any monster he comes across as the rest of the army and several of the other leprechauns fight for their lives. One of the girls, Nephren, has a particularly harsh time with this, ultimately sacrificing herself so that a few others might live. Just as she collapses, however, Willem finds her. And, in a last-stitch effort so save something, he dives after her as she falls off of the airship.
The following five minutes go on to create one of the most heartbreaking and tear-inducing scenes I have ever seen. Ctholly manages to persuade the girl inhabiting her mind to let her come back to reality one last time -- all so she could save Willem. Then, as she stands surrounded by corpses on the edge of the airship, her last strands of blue hair change to red and she dives. Freefalling thousands of feet in the air, Scarborough Fair and the endless barrage of strange, psychological metaphors from Elq assault our ears and our hearts as we watch this girl we've fallen in love with trade away her sanity for someone else's happiness. A dual-monologue between Willem and Ctholly breaks out as she reappears out of thin air and desperately attacks the monsters surrounding him. As the monologue loses steam, Ctholly does as well. Her attacks slow as she is impaled by countless tendrils and lifted high up into the same sky she descended from just minutes ago.
The battle comes to a close and everything we have grown to love over the past three months is stripped from us quicker than it was given. The few scenes that follow only make it harder.
What an incredibly heartfelt and gorgeous series this was. The amount of love put into this project is palpable on all accounts and, thanks to one of the most well-written female characters in years, the mark that WorldEnd leaves will be a lasting one. The harmonious blend of intimate Celtic music meshed with tragic fight scenes and flawless acting creates something much more immersive than you would normally find in any visual medium. For a few seconds, it even feels like we're there. Something that important is hard to put into words, but if I had to limit my description of this series to one, it would be 'beautiful'. Please, set aside a night and watch this all in one go. You won't possibly regret it.