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. However, this new safe haven Regul Aire has a dark secret behind it.
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, through their everyday interactions in the 'orphanage,' Willem and the girls gradually come to understand what family means and what is truly worth protecting.
Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka? has been licensed in English as WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? by Yen Press under the Yen On imprint.
Telling of a young (or not so young) man Willem's encounter with a group of peculiar girls preordained to a tragic fate, SukaSuka focuses on Willem's spiritual journey to rediscover his roles and responsibilities after being thrusted into a future world both foreign and hostile to him. As Willem attempts to forge his bonds anew and confronts his dark past, the story simultaneously delves deeply into what is considered "good" and "evil", what is justice, what it means to be a hero, and how to cope with the overwhelming sense of loss.
This light novel reveals that, underneath the thin veil of a facade that
is so often used to simplify a character as a "trope", are complex emotions and thought patterns at work. A little girl carrying the burdens of the future of a people may be both a battle-worn veteran and a tender romantic at heart; a man-eating troll of outspoken-borderline-aggressive personality might as well have a maiden's heart; a bulky lizardman with an austere presence may likewise have a compassionate and fatherly side to him. Each person is a clumsy assemblage of contradicting traits, and that is exactly what makes them connectable as a reader.
I suppose quite a few of us had picked up a book of fables when we were small and immersed ourselves within stories of otherworldly charm and enchantment, which undoubtedly served as the foundation of our imagination.Correspondingly, SukaSuka is a light novel that is inspired by the classics, that imitates the classics, and appeals to the readers' penchant for the classics. Reminiscent of the Greek mythologies which I was so obsessed with during my days of adolescence - tales of Oedipus, of Hercules, of Odysseus, of Orpheus, or of Eros and Psyche - SukaSuka strikes me as a story that merely seeks to convey itself with the utmost grace and sentiment whereas the audience's enjoyment is secondary - it is an attribute that defines quality literature as opposed to quality entertainment. In witness of how the plot unfolds I cannot help but retain a sense of awe towards the penmanship of the author, for SukaSuka is a work that I have yet to see another of such caliber in the medium. It is, in my honest opinion, nothing short of a masterpiece.
I started this series after watching the anime and boy did it not disappoint. This is more than likely the most under appreciated light novel out there right now. It's not your standard cliche light novel self insert story. The characters are well written and believable. The setting is also very intriquing. The background and lore in this series is something else. It's basically a world that was once your standard light novel setting until an HP Lovecraft style apocalypse destroyed all surface life. This isn't a story about the good guys saving the world and everyone living happily ever after. The heroes failed to
save the world long ago and now those who are left can only stave off the inevitable. Even seeming victories come with unforseen costs. Yet through all of this the characters continue to live their lives, mindful of the fact that the world has not yet ended. It's sad, beautiful, and something more people should read.