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.
“Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? isogahii desu ka? Sukutte moratte Ii desu ka?”
That’s a long title, right? Yes
Should you give it a chance and read it? Yes!
This is a previous review I wrote for this series, and I’ll try to avoid spoilers as much as possible. Let’s start.
SukaSuka (WorldEnd) Review:
The story presents us with a seemingly young man called “Willem” who wakes up from from an icy slumber 500 years later after losing everyone he once held dear to his heart and losing the place he once called home. The people of the earth now live on islands in the sky after the earth has succumbed
to the control of mysterious beasts that appeared also 500 years ago and rendered humanity extinct (basically, the existing people now are furries!).
The story deals with this young man’s encounter with fairies. A group of mysterious girls who are said to be used as special weapons to fend off the beast invasions on the islands.
Here’s where it gets interesting. The initial premise may seem cliche, pseudo-harem, or “I’ve seen that before” for some people. However, the story evolves into much more than that. SukaSuka is more of a drama, mystery, sci-fi, romance novel that takes itself seriously. It knows how to play around with your feelings. I think the most compelling aspect of this story is the world-building. It just has you hooked and wanting to know about its world more. You find yourself asking “just who are the beasts? How did they appear? How are the fairies created and used in battle? What happened in Willem’s past? How What is waiting these characters? Are there any human survivors? What happened 500 years ago?” It sets up to achieve what many fantasy stories fail at, and that is creating an actually interesting fantasy world where you can feel fully immersed in and give you that feeling as if you’re exploring it alongside the characters.
The story works hand in hand with the world building as we endeavor with the protagonist to uncover the secrets of this world while also observing how he tries to accept his present life, deal with his past, and find a new home and family with fairies he encounters. These fairies that are nothing more than special weapons bound to death. Together, Willem tries to find respite (but the true question is whether he will he be successful in finding it at the end?) and seeks a new family with the fairies while teaching the latter the importance of life and that there’s a reason for them to live on and exist more than just mere weapons. Unable to fight due to his past wounds, Willem becomes the father these girls (fairies) never had and tries to nurture them. The plot twists that come along are also reasonable with enough foreshadowing provided from the very beginning. You may find the story jumping between timelines which may confuse some people, but that makes it more interesting as you are discovering a world in 2 different eras and uncover more secrets. I’d like to echo what the other review said. The world of sukasuka is basically a well construced fantasy world with an added touch of lovecraftian influence, and boy I am a fan of lovecraft’s novels and writing.
As for the characters, Willem is one of the best protagonists I’ve seen with an unrivaled iron will and qualities that make him stand out among many protagonists I’ve seen. His actions are well thought out always. He has some shounen protagonist qualities but the way he displays them makes him different and especially with how embodies the true definition of a war hero (not a hero in a costume with some granted power and flies around beating bad guys). He also doesn’t exist for the sake of the plot, and his character inspection is great and hold ties to the secret of the world which makes it more compelling.
As for the fairies, they’re all distinct from each others. While a few of them do fall into some tropes because the story is only 25 chapters and can’t flesh them out or fully develop them all, they do manage to still be decent characters. The main female lead among the fairies Chtholly (or you can just call her Kutori or Cthulhu :p) gets a good amount of focus and her interactions with willem as well as their chemistry is adorable and really forms a great relationship between them as one strives to find a new home and one strives to find a reason to live, to come back home, and be beside her loved ones. Chtholly’s story goes in parallel with Willem’s as she realizes her own self-worth thanks to him and fights to maintain these precious memories she tries to build as much as she can of in this ephemeral life she’s living. Chtholly along with Ithea and Ren get the most exposure out of all fairies (nopht and Rhan too but to a lesser extent), and they’re all influenced by Willem’s actions. As the story progresses his relationship with them as a father figure, the story builds on their character through the dynamics of that relationship and their relevance to the overall plot and World building
If i were to offer some more bits of criticism, It would be that I would have liked some characters to be a just a bit more developed. Also there are some questions left unanswered. However, there is a sequel novel too! So that makes me happy to explore more stuff about the world and story. However, it hasn’t been translated yet unfortunately or still in its early process of being translated. Also the characters naming can look pretty complex at first. But you get used to it.
Now, this is a story of a brave or hero who left the battlefield and a story of girls who are bound to sacrifice themselves on the battlefield. It’s your turn to jump in on the long journey and drown in feels while playing scarborough fair or always in my heart endlessly.