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. Some of the original team members that worked on The World Ends with You returned to work on the animation. However, all episodes were written by Midori Gotō who did not work on the original game.
First intended for release in January 2021, it was delayed until April 9, 2021. The anime aired every Saturday morning at 1:25 a.m. (JST) on Japan's MBS / TBS 28 stations, during the "Super Animeism" block. The full series is 12 episodes long and allows those who did not play the original game to experience the basic plot points of the story, although in a very concise manner with some adaptation difference.
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.
- Main article: Episodes
|1||The Reapers' Game
| April 9, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
April 10, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
| April 16, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
April 17, 2021, 1:40 a.m. JST
| April 23, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
April 24, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
| April 30, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
May 1, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
C A T
| May 7, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
May 8, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
| May 14, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
May 15, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
| May 21, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
May 22, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
| May 28, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
May 29, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
|9||Rhyme and Beat
| June 4, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
June 5, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
|10||The Countless Wrongs of Our Day
| June 11, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
June 12, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
|11||The Hour of Reckoning
| June 18, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
June 19, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
|12||It's a Wonderful World
| June 25, 2021, 1:25 p.m. EDT
June 26, 2021, 1:25 a.m. JST
General Differences Between Game and Anime
- 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 Honjo 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.
- Walls are implied to be invisible in the game, making players flinch when they accidentally run into them. In the anime, they are now visible.
- Another Day and A New Day are not adapted. A New Day is recommended for those who wish to play the sequel NEO: The World Ends with You because of important story points.
- Understandably, sometimes the anime changes things that were passable in the game but would not work well in a show format. For example, in the game, a character recited over a hundred digits of Pi before killing another character. In the anime, the homicidal character simply says, "And this is my answer!" in order to keep the death scene serious.
- 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. One notable exception to the darker tone is the ending which can be seen as happier in the anime.
- 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.
The anime's music was composed by Takeharu Ishimoto. The World Ends with You The Animation Original Soundtrack released on June 30th, 2021 and consists 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. A song with a male vocalist called Voices is heard in episodes one and twelve. Another song with a male vocalist, called Disconnect Me, is heard in episodes three and seven. Both male songs are only about a minute and a half long.
The Animation was announced on June 25, 2020, via the game's promotional Twitter account. 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.
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.
The Animation holds a 7/10 on IMDb. It holds a 6/10 on MyAnimeList. 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 being the greater focus on Eri's story. Many fans enjoyed the higher focus on Sota and Nao. 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 various reasons, such as for strangely not using enough of the game's soundtrack with only four tracks making it in. The show also has been a bit confusing for its anime-only viewers, especially with the mechanics of the Reapers' Game. The 3D Noise have been criticized, as they have more fluid animation and their 3D style can look jarring next to the 2D characters, although some feel the style of the Noise gives them a creepy otherworldly aesthetic in a positive way. Some feel that the camera tends to move around too much during fight scenes. A common complaint is that Neku and his partners feel too overpowered while fighting Noise, rarely getting attacked back, and moments after Neku meets Joshua, both of them are already using their Level 2 Fusion Attack. The final Kitaniji boss has been viewed as a "joke" by some viewers due to how easily he is beaten.
Many fans of the game are disappointed that the anime lacks some of the more interesting, compelling and intimate character moments and nuance. Because of this, many of the game's fans feel the anime's version of the game's character feel flatter, and that the anime should be experienced after the game, as opposed to a replacement for it. 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 as Neku says her name during the Swing Shark attack, making fans wonder if the creators forgot about this.
- 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, giving Neku legitimate reasons to dislike her. 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 was 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.
- For unexplained reasons, the final day of Beat's week is day 6 instead of 7, and the viewer sees "2 days left" before Neku and Beat enter the Shibuya River. The scene where Beat begins to fade from existence is also inexplicably removed. The idea of there being an extra day excited fans because they thought A New Day would be adapted and Coco Atarashi might appear, so these fans were disappointed.
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.
The final episode has been criticized because many of the game's fans felt it was not as emotional as the game's. More inexplicably removed scenes include Neku no longer seeing Hanekoma standing beside Joshua, Neku's "Why... WHAT THE HELL?!" and Neku's entire monologue. The episode also ends with Hanekoma and Joshua simply explaining the mysteries of the story. Sota and Nao were revived, along with possibly all the other Players and Reapers, leading to some fan annoyance who felt their revival undermined the weight of their deaths in the game. Some fans were also upset they waited 14 years to not see Shiki's real face, although others argue it was a tactful decision because Shiki claims "I was never pretty..." in the game, and that giving Shiki a cute face would have undermined the themes of the story.
The anime has been compared to a "sandwich" because of the criticized first and final episodes, with many viewing every episode in between being better.
- 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 weeks.
- 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.
- An English dub was announced and released in September 2021. None of the game's original English voice actors return, with the sole exception of Koki Kariya's.
- 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.
The series streams subtitled (subbed} versions in various regions. All of these streaming sites are geo-locked, and some require a subscription. The list of streaming sites for Japanese viewers can be found here.
- The World Ends with You "The Animation" official website.
- Tweet by The World Ends With You's promotional account announcing The Animation.
- 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!"
- Sub streaming