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 World Ends with You video game. The original team that worked on The World Ends with You returned to work on the animation.[1]

First intended for release in January 2021, it was delayed until April 9, 2021. The anime will air every Saturday morning at 1:25 a.m. (JST) on Japan's MBS / TBS 28 stations, during the "Super Animeism" block. The full series will be 12 episodes long and will finish before NEO: The World Ends with You is released, which is a sequel to the anime. The anime allows those who did not play the original game to catch up on the story, although it is a very concise manner.

The series simulcasts on Funimation, Fridays at 1:25 p.m. (ET) and Hulu. See below for streaming services in other countries.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Neku and Shiki fighting Noise in the Reapers' Game.

The plot of The Animation is based on the video game, although with some minor occasional story changes. 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 how he got there. He soon discovers he is trapped in an alternate plane of existence known as the Underground (UG). 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[edit | edit source]

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
The Animation Logo.png

General Differences Between Game and Anime[edit | edit source]

NOTE: This section is a work in progress and points on this list may change once the anime is complete.

Characters:

  • Neku is a lot less abrasive compared to the game's English localization, partially because he was more polite in the Japanese version. The opening where he is seen telling people to shut up and go the hell away is removed. Shiki and Joshua also display much less attitude and condescension and Neku befriends them much faster in the anime, and by the end of the second episode, Neku is already telling Shiki that she is pretty amazing. In the game, Neku and Shiki were frequently fighting and arguing and had a far more rocky relationship.
  • Most of Neku's inner monologue is removed, so as a result, some of his more snarky dialogue is omitted. Sometimes Neku vocalizes these monologues, making him more expressive and talkative than his more quiet game counterpart.
  • 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 and Nao are given more focus, and they appear in each of the first seven episodes in some form or another.
  • The characters and their personality remain the same for the most part, although 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. Ken Doi seems to be completely removed.
  • Makoto Miki appears, but his role is now minor. In the game, he had a story arc.

Reapers' Game mechanics:

  • The flip phones in the game have been changed into smart phones. This is because the creators wanted to make the anime feel modern and relatable.
  • Memes are not mentioned.
  • Scanning requires touching people now. People in the RG are depicted as having less color.
  • During Week One, Neku and Shiki always awaken at Scramble Crossing, while in the game, they awaken in different areas.

Other:

  • The anime uses the real life names of locations. For example, O-East instead of A-East.
  • Certain events are re-arranged so that they occur on different days.
  • Some things are explained in the anime that were not shown in the game.
  • Tin Pin Slammer and Reaper Creeper appear to be absent in the anime.
  • The weather is depicted more in the anime. For example, it rains on the way to the highway and weather becomes more cloudy and stormy as the anime progresses.
  • It could be said that the anime has a darker tone compared to the game. For example, characters are shown crying more and Eri is shown buying flowers for her deceased friend. Rhyme has a more violent encounter with a certain Noise. One unfortunate Player is impaled by a Rhino Noise in episode 4 with accompanying sounds. Blood is shown for the first time in the series. The sky adopts a hellish red tint in the later episodes. The anime is devoid of a lot of music (music only tends to play during fights in the anime), and a horror chord is often played during many scenes.
  • Additionally, with the above point, a lot of lighthearted scenes have been removed. For example, in the game, there was a scene of Shiki harassing Neku against his will by pantsing him and exposing his underwear; although Shiki did this in order to fix his short's loose button, Neku still had his privacy violated. The game apparently seemed to try to portray this scene as humorous. The anime removes this scene, possibly because it could be seen as sexual harassment now.

Music[edit | edit source]

The anime's music was composed by Takeharu Ishimoto. The World Ends with You The Animation Original Soundtrack will release on June 30th, 2021 and consist of 54 tracks. Most of the anime's music is original, with only Calling, Twister, Underground and It's So Wonderful making appearances.

The anime contains some vocal music. The ending theme Carpe Diem was sung by ASCA. An unknown song with a male vocalist is heard at the end of the first episode. Another song with a male vocalist, unofficially called "Walls after walls", is heard in episodes three and seven.

Development[edit | edit source]

The Animation was announced on June 25, 2020, via the game's promotional Twitter account.[2] Prior to this point, key art was released teasing the announcement. More information was later shared the following month at Anime Expo. On July 27, 2020, the music production was announced to be fully complete.[3]

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.

Prior to the anime 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.

Reception[edit | edit source]

The Animation holds a 7.4/10 on IMDb.[2] It holds a 6/10 on MyAnimeList.[3] The general consensus is that the show is decent for an anime adaptation, although could be improved by either having more episodes for better pacing or by using its 4 hour runtime better.

On the positive side, the anime has been praised for capturing a lot of the game's style, and for recapping the game's main general plot points without changing the important moments too much. A common sentiment among the game's players is that the anime often excels and is at its best when it explores more of the game's universe instead of simply retelling the game. An example of this is the greater focus on Eri's story. The anime has also been praised for some of its different takes which can surprise players of the game and catch them off-guard, an example being how Shiki left Neku at the end of episode three.

The anime has been criticized for not using enough of the game's soundtrack. The show also has been a bit confusing for its anime-only viewers, especially with the mechanics of the Reapers' Game.

Speech Bubble - Exclamation Question SR.png Spoiler warning: Plot and/or character details follow.

Many fans of the game are disappointed that the anime lacks some of the more interesting, compelling and intimate character moments and nuance. For example;

  • The game showed Neku's and Shiki's relationship had its ups and downs, with the two having a certain argument at the end of the game's Day 4 being removed. The harshest thing Neku to says to Shiki in the anime is a single "shut up" while fighting Noise in the first episode. By the end of the first episode, Neku tells Shiki he will try to trust her while fighting the bat, and by the end of the second episode, Neku is already telling Shiki that she is pretty amazing. Neku never calls Shiki "stalker" and Shiki telling Neku "that's the first time you used my name" has been removed.
  • Many fans had an issue with Shiki's characterization. In the game, she would occasionally be rude to Neku, use microaggressions on him such by as trivializing his feelings, using rude language like "duh", pulling down his pants to fix his button even after he objected, etc. In the anime, Shiki has been described as being too "perfect" and more "Mary Sue". Shiki's jealousy of Eri has also been downplayed; for example, in the game, she was borderline suicidal and did not really care if she erased and Neku had to motivate her to continue living and try to get over her jealousy. In the anime, Neku does not have to motivate Shiki to keep living and Shiki essentially gets over her self-esteem issues by herself. Day 6 in the game was considered a standout for the players due to the way it characterized Shiki and most fans agree that the anime failed to do Day 6 justice.
  • The anime does not mention Beat was constantly put down by his parents because of poor school grades which were one of the main reasons he would run away from home, and it does not mention how his parents constantly made him feel less than Rhyme by comparing him to her. Anime viewers can be misled that Beat only had a single argument with his father which made him leave home, while the game made it clear Beat left home multiple times and that he also had a strained relationship with his mother.
  • Hanekoma's role during Week One has been criticized, as the anime does not explain who he is very well as he lacks his long conversation with Neku and Shiki.

The anime's first episode received criticism for its fast pacing, putting three days into a single episode. The first episode was somewhat controversial because many fans felt it made Neku seem too nice. Some viewers, especially anime-only viewers, felt Neku was too much of a blank slate even in spite of his amnesia. Neku being possessed by Noise before choking Shiki was also subject to criticism, with many fans feeling it took away from one of Neku's lowest points where he had agency. This and other decisions have made fans wonder if the anime's creators were concerned about making Neku seem too much of an unlikable protagonist. However, many fans who continued to watch after the first episode felt the show improves afterwards, especially with its pacing.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

The World Ends with You The Animation/Gallery

Promotional Videos[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The thumbnail preview for episode 8 on Funimation is incorrect, using a picture of episode 21 from Back Arrow instead, and it has not been corrected in over a week.[4]
  • Japanese broadcast stations frequently use the 30-hour-clock, with the night hours belonging to the previous day. A show that is scheduled to air Saturday at 1:25 a.m. will be listed as Friday 25:25 or Friday 1:25 midnight.
  • Due to the different time zones, Saturday 1:25 a.m. JST is Friday 12:25 p.m. EDT. Episodes air on Funimation 1 hour after they have aired in Japan.
  • All the main Japanese cast members from the game return, although with two exceptions. Rhyme has her Kingdom Hearts voice actress instead of her original, while Hanekoma has a new voice actor.
  • Any chance of an English dub is currently unknown.
    • Neku's English voice actor (Jesse David Corti) Tweeted at Funimation that he would be willing to reprise Neku: "How about an #EnglishDub with the original cast? #thinkaboutit"[5]
  • The opening theme of the anime originally was "Teenage City Riot" by ALI. However, because the band's drummer was arrested, it was changed before release and trailers featuring the song were removed.

Streaming[edit | edit source]

The series streams subtitled (subbed} versions in various regions. All of these streaming sites are geo-locked, and some require a subscription.[4] The list of streaming sites for Japanese viewers can be found here.

Click to show/hide table

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The World Ends with You "The Animation" official website.[1]
  2. Tweet by The World Ends With You's promotional account announcing The Animation.
  3. Tweet by Takeharu Ishimoto; translates from Japanese to "The music production for It's a Wonderful World [the Japanese name for The World Ends with You] has ended!"
  4. Sub streaming
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.