The World Ends With You
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The World Ends With You
Overview

The World Ends with You The Animation (すばらしきこのせかいThe Animation Subarashiki Kono Sekai The Animation, lit. "It's a Wonderful World" The Animation) is an anime series adaptation of the original The World Ends with You video game. The full series is 12 episodes in length and allows those who did not play the original game to experience the basic plot points of the story, albeit in a very concise manner with some adaptation differences. The series was directed by Kazuya Ichikawa and its screenplay written by Midori Gotō. Some of the original team members who worked on The World Ends with You returned to work on the animation, including the game's director, Tomohiko Hirano, and producer Tatsuya Kando.[1]

The anime's audio was originally in the Japanese language, with localized dubs into English, Portuguese and Latin Spanish in the following months.

Originally intended to be released in January 2021, the anime was delayed to April 9, 2021. It aired every Saturday morning at 1:25 a.m. (JST) on Japan's MBS / TBS 28 stations, during the "Super Animeism" block. The anime is affiliated with Funimation for distribution in the west, and all Japanese subbed episodes and the first two English dubbed episodes are available to watch for free on the official Funimation website here. Hulu also hosts all Japanese and English episodes behind their subscription service here.

Synopsis[]

Neku and Shiki fighting Noise in the Reapers' Game.

The plot of The Animation is based on the general plot of the original game, with some minor yet occasional differences in the story. It focuses on an antisocial teenage boy named Neku Sakuraba who mysteriously awakens in the middle of Shibuya's bustling Scramble Crossing with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He soon discovers he is trapped in an alternate plane of existence known as the Underground. Now an unwilling participant in the mysterious Reapers' Game, Neku must partner up with a girl named Shiki Misaki in order to survive its seven days. Together, they complete daily missions and defeat monsters known as Noise as they gradually uncover the true nature of this twisted game.

Episodes[]

Main article: Episodes
Episode Title Air Date Image
1 The Reapers' Game
死神ゲーム
United States (Funimation) April 9, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan April 10, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
Episode 1.jpg
2 Shiki
シキ
United States (Funimation) April 16, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan April 17, 2021, 1:40 a.m. JST
Episode 2-1.jpg
3 Erased
消滅
United States (Funimation) April 23, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan April 24, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
Episode 3-1.jpg
4 Reapers
死神
United States (Funimation) April 30, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan May 1, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
Reapers( Episode ).png
5 CAT
C A T
United States (Funimation) May 7, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan May 8, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
CAT ( Episode ).png
6 Turf
テリトリー
United States (Funimation) May 14, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan May 15, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
Turf ( Episode ).png
7 Joshua
ヨシュア
United States (Funimation) May 21, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan May 22, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
Minamimoto ( Joshua - Episode ).png
8 Emergency Call
エマージェンシーコール
United States (Funimation) May 28, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan May 29, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
Beat ( Emergency Call - Episode ).png
9 Rhyme and Beat
ライムとビイト
United States (Funimation) June 4, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan June 5, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
777 Choker ( Rhyme and Beat - Episode ).png
10 The Countless Wrongs of Our Day
数えきれないこの世の不幸
United States (Funimation) June 11, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan June 12, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
Possesed ( The Countless Wrongs of Our Day - Episode ).png
11 The Hour of Reckoning
審判の刻
United States (Funimation) June 18, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan June 19, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
Tigris Cantus ( The Hour of Reckoning - Episode ).png
12 It's a Wonderful World
すばらしきこのせかい
United States (Funimation) June 25, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
Japan June 26, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
Neku ( It's a Wonderful World - Episode ).png

General Differences Between the Game and the Anime[]

As an anime adaptation of a story and its characters presented through a video game medium, many changes can be made for various reasons, such as time constraints, which lead to differences from its source material. It should also be noted that, as the anime series is an adaptation of the original Japanese version of The World Ends with You, the anime is even more different from the English localization of the game, particularly with how the characters are portrayed.

Events[]

Certain events were re-arranged so that they occur on different days than they did in the game. For a comprehensive break down of differences and comparisons between the anime and the game, please see the individual pages for each episode as listed above.

Characters[]

Speech Bubble - Exclamation Question SR.png Spoiler warning: Plot and/or character details follow.
  • Whereas Neku was abrasive - particularly with Shiki - early on in the game's English localization, he is more polite in the Japanese version. The opening scene where he shuts out other people was not adapted. Most of Neku's inner monologue is removed, omitting some of his more snarky dialogue in turn. He sometimes vocalizes his monologues instead, making him more expressive and talkative in general compared to the game.
  • Shiki and Joshua display much less attitude and condescension respectively, and befriend Neku much faster than in the game.
  • Beat is portrayed as being more intelligent, or perhaps due to the anime's shorter run time, he has less opportunities to appear unintelligent
  • Sota Honjo and Nao are given more focus in the anime, as they appear in each of the first seven episodes in some form or another.
  • Mitsuki Konishi displays much less emotion, almost as if she is robotic in the anime.
  • Shooter and Yammer appear to be absent, although they have a brief cameo.
  • Makoto Miki only fulfills the role he had in the first Week, and does not appear in the second Week, omitting his character arc.
  • Ken Doi is omitted entirely.
  • Tenho and BJ are briefly shown being Erased, whereas in the game they were implied to have been Erased.
Speech Bubble - Exclamation Question SR.png Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

Reapers' Game Mechanics[]

The timers looking bloodier in the anime.

  • The hand timers look a bit different and bloodier in the anime.
  • The flip phones were changed into smartphones. This is because the creators wanted to make the anime feel modern and relatable.[2]
  • Memes are not mentioned.
  • Scanning requires the Players to touch those they want to Scan as opposed to seeing their Thought Fragments in the game.
  • Reaper Creeper appears to be absent.
  • People in the Realground are depicted as having less color compared to those who inhabit the Underground. For example, one of Shiki's friends has red hair but due to Neku and Shiki being in the UG, her hair looks brown.
  • After completing their missions together, Neku and Shiki always awaken at the Scramble Crossing, while in the game, they awaken in different areas.
  • Walls are implied to be invisible in the game, making Players flinch when they accidentally run into them. In the game, they only seem to appear when they are touched or if they have been broken. In the anime, they are always visible.

Other[]

  • As The Animation is an adaptation of the main story of The World Ends with You, it does not adapt Another Day or the Final Remix-exclusive A New Day.
    • Because of this, anyone who wishes to watch the anime instead of the game, while intending to experience NEO: The World Ends with You, will be confused when NEO references A New Day. As a result, fans encourage viewers to watch A New Day before jumping into the sequel.
  • The locations in Shibuya use their real life names in the anime. For example, the areas that were named "O-East" and "Pork City" in the game use their real life names of "A-East" and "Mark City".
  • Wall Reapers have distinct designs from each other, likely to distinguish from Tenho and BJ.
  • Some things are explained in the anime that were not shown in the game.
  • Tin Pin Slammer appears to be absent.
  • The weather is depicted in the anime. For example, in Episode 3, it rains while Neku and Shiki are on their way to the highway, and clears up once they defeat Yodai Higashizawa. The weather also becomes more cloudy and stormy over the course of the anime.

Music[]

The World Ends with You The Animation Original Soundtrack

The anime's music was composed by Takeharu Ishimoto. The World Ends with You The Animation Original Soundtrack was released on June 30th, 2021 and consists of 54 tracks. Most of the music is original to the anime, with only Calling, Twister, Underground and It's So Wonderful being reused and remade from the game.

The anime contains some vocal music. The ending theme Carpe Diem was sung by ASCA. Two songs made by Mas Kimura include Voices in episodes one and twelve, and Disconnect Me in episodes three and seven.

Development[]

Key art teasing The Animation.

On May 27, 2020, key art was released teasing the announcement of The Animation, with the main Player characters of the series appearing on what would have been the program guide cover for Anime Expo.[3] The Animation was officially announced on June 25, 2020, via the game's promotional Twitter account.[4] More information was later shared the following month at Anime Expo. On July 27, 2020, the music production was announced to be fully complete.[5]

On September 18, 2020, a brief preview of the first episode was premiered on the MBS and TBS stations, showing Neku waking up in Shibuya and being ignored by people. It was followed by a 7 Days Campaign on the promotional Twitter account where missions were given out each day for seven days. The more people that completed the missions, the more profile icons they released.

On March 1, 2021, a two-part promotional event for the anime called UG SHIBUYA FES was announced.[6] The first part, titled "World Premiere", featured an advance screening for the anime's first episode, a live talk session with the main Japanese cast of voice actors and director Kazuya Ichikawa, and tickets for limited edition merchandise that could only be purchased at the event.[7] The World Premiere took place on March 14, 2021. The second part, titled "UG SHIBUYA Museum", was an interactive digital art exhibition that featured documentation related to the anime, unpublished artwork, and The World Ends with You fan art posted on Twitter with the appropriate hashtags #UGSHIBUYAART and #TWEWY. UG SHIBUYA Museum could be freely accessed 24/7 via smartphone or PC. Submissions for fan art began on March 1, and the art exhibition was active from March 14, 2021, to July 30, 2021, although access from outside Japan ended on March 31, 2021.[8]

On March 8, 2021, the promotional Twitter account revealed that illustrator Ilya Kuvshinov would be working on the illustrations for the anime's ending, Carpe Diem.[9][10]

A week prior to the anime's debut, a special broadcast aired on April 2, 2021, titled "The World Ends with You: The Animation Special Program" (「すばらしきこのせかいThe Animation放送直前特番」放送) in the "Super Animeism" block.

The original opening theme for The Animation, "Teenage City Riot" by ALI, was announced as such on November 23, 2020. However, in early April 2021, ALI's drummer Kahadio was arrested for an advance-fee fraud scam, and on April 8, 2021, just over 24 hours before the premiere of The Animation, it was announced that Teenage City Riot would be replaced. Following this announcement, trailers that featured the song were removed. Its would-be use in the first episode was replaced with Calling - Animation OP Ver. -. In the second episode onwards, the show's opening animation uses TWISTER - Animation OP ver. -

Artwork of the first volume.

The Animation was made available on Blu-ray and DVD as a set of two volumes, the first being released on July 30, 2021, and the second on August 27, 2021. Each volumes comes with booklets and include promotional videos, audio commentary (exclusive to Blu-ray only), and a special sleeve with illustrations by Arisa Matsuura, the Lead Character Designer for The Animation.[11][12][13]

On September 16, 2021, Funimation officially announced an English dub for the anime, and released the first episode the very next day.[14] The English dub finished releasing in the middle of January 2022. Due to Funimation working with their in-house talent of voice actors, none of the characters are voiced by their original English voice actors for the game, with the sole exception of Koki Kariya. Many months before the announcement, Neku's English voice actor, Jesse David Corti, tweeted at Funimation that he would be willing to reprise Neku.[15] However, he was replaced by Ben Balmaceda for the anime. The script for the English dub is generally faithful to the Japanese script while also adapting quotes and dialogue from the English version of the game, including (but not limited to) Neku and his Partners' Fusion quotes.

Reception[]

As of December 2021, The World Ends with You The Animation currently holds a rating of 6/10 on IMDb[16] and a score of 6.15 on MyAnimeList.[17] Many initial reviews praised the anime's visuals and aesthetics for being faithful to the art styles that the game presented, as well as the anime's combination of both 2D and 3DCG animation. The soundtrack for the anime also found praise, though some believe that more of the game's soundtrack should have been used in lieu of music original to the anime. However, the main criticisms for The Animation lie with its handling of character development and the pacing of the story. The opinion that the first three episodes in particular were rushed holds true for many reviews and across the general fan consensus for the anime.

Mercedez Clewis of Anime News Network reviewed The Animation in its entirety.[18] In her review for the first two episodes, Clewis states that Episode 1 is "for all intents and purposes an info dump. It's structured specifically to get viewers —whether or not they know TWEWY— into the world of the UG ... and Shibuya itself." Both episodes followed a "frenetic pace", and while Clewis had understood the episodes perfectly well, she also considers the perspective of an anime-only viewer without any prior knowledge of the series, and states that "...things become a bit messy, especially when you consider that episodes 1 and 2 compress nearly an entire week's worth of development in-game into 48 minutes. While the bulk of it is engaging, there are chunks of info that someone who didn't play the game probably will just have to handwave away."[19] In her review of Episode 12, Clewis states that the series had gone from "one of the [anime] season's weakest premieres to a strong, emotional finale". She believes the anime to be "one of the most solid video game adaptations in recent years", though states that realistically, the adaptation would not be for everyone. Even with the anime's "missteps and the lack of the original game's music", Clewis found it overall to be engaging once the anime "found its legs in around week 4. [sic]".[20]

A common sentiment among fans of the game is that the anime often excels when it explores more of the game's universe, rather than simply retelling the game's story. While some were favorable of the anime's additional scenes and given focus to more minor characters, others were similarly critical of certain scenes being excluded from the game, especially in cases where these scenes would have made characters as nuanced as they were in the game.

The World Ends with You The Animation has been rebroadcasted on Japan's TBS station twice after its initial runtime from April 2021 to June 2021. Its first rerun occurred in late August 2021,[21] while its second rerun occurred from late December 2021 to early January 2022.[22] It should be noted that it is rare for an anime to be rerun after the initial runtime at all, let alone multiple times.

Videos[]

Trivia[]

  • The thumbnail preview for Episode 8 on Funimation and Hulu are incorrect, with both sites using a picture from Episode 21 of Back Arrow instead.[1]
  • All the main Japanese cast members from the game return for the anime, with the exceptions of Rhyme, who has been voiced by Ayana Taketatsu since Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, and Hanekoma, who is voiced by Kenjirō Tsuda.

External links[]

References[]

  1. The World Ends with You "The Animation" official website.
  2. @Wario64: the panel confirmed that smartphones are replacing flip phones in The Animation, so that people won't feel the anime as being old.
  3. Announcing Anime Expo Lite: A Virtual Japanese Pop Culture Event
  4. @TWEWY_PR: ”The Animation”
  5. @ishimoto_music: すばらしきこのせかいアニメ 音楽はもうちょいで制作終了!
    "The music production for the Subarashiki Kono Sekai anime is done!"
  6. The World Ends with You The Animation – UG SHIBUYA FES –
  7. <UG SHIBUYA FES> “World Premiere,” the advance screening event of episode 1 of the animation.
  8. <UG SHIBUYA FES> Digital Exhibition “UG SHIBUYA Museum”
  9. @TWEWY_PR: EDアニメーションにイリヤ・クブシノブ氏の起用が決定
  10. @Kuvshinov_Ilya: 私にとって一番大事なゲームのアニメ化のEDを描かせていただきました
  11. The World Ends With You -The Animation- comes to JP BR/DVD in Summer 2021
  12. すばらしきこのせかい The Animation Blu-ray&DVD 上巻
  13. すばらしきこのせかい The Animation Blu-ray&DVD 下巻
  14. The World Ends with You The Animation English Dub Announced, Cast & Crew Revealed
  15. @daviddivad: How about an #EnglishDub @FUNimation with the original cast? #thinkaboutit
  16. The World Ends with You: The Animation on IMDb
  17. Subarashiki Kono Sekai The Animation on MyAnimeList
  18. The World Ends with You the Animation Episode Reviews
  19. The World Ends with You the Animation Episodes 1-2
  20. The World Ends with You the Animation Episode 12
  21. @TWEWY_PR
  22. @TWEWY_PR
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