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Ginko: WorldEnd - What Are You Doing at the End of the World?

Discussion in 'Anime Reviews' started by Ginko, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. Ginko

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    This anime with the long, exhausting title is a tale of magic and an impossible love. In between life-or-death missions, young girls try hard to create a semblance of normal life for themselves.

    Synopsis

    Willem Kmetsch is among, if not the last, living human being on earth. The vast majority of sentient life at this point is some form of animal hybrid, living on floating islands in the skies. Pretty much everyone else was wiped out by beasts five hundred years ago. Willem takes a job out on the fringes for the military, something about taking care of a warehouse full of "special weapons".

    After an unusual welcome, he arrives at a place that looks far less like any warehouse, and more like a mansion. And those weapons? Nowhere to be seen are any rifle or blade, but the house is filled with girls. Most are very young, with the eldest being teenagers. One of the girls, a blue-haired girl named Chtholly, informs him that the girls themselves are the weapons, and his new responsibility.

    Wielding swords called "dug weapons", these girls are the only ones capable of using them, and also the only ones who can successfully fight and kill those beasts that make it up to the cloud cities. Willem is now the caretaker of living weapons who represent the last stand of their civilization.

    Analysis & Impressions

    The day-to-day of this show is about Willem spending time with the girls, and he struggles with his new charge. Not because it's particularly difficult, but because he's expected to maintain these so-called weapons without growing attached to them. The shadow of death constantly hangs over the campus. The call to battle can come at any moment, and someone might not come back. It causes no end to worry for the officer.

    As such, the girls are highly genuine and unapologetic about their nature. They live for today and nothing else. Ithea, for example, relishes in gossip and imagines her fanfics out loud, and Chtholly's motherly instincts shine through her coy exterior.

    Although the series is twelve episodes, it feels longer. Progress is slow. Things do pick up in the latter half of the series, but there's a lot of everyday drudgery to sit through. The anime is primarily a drama, but frankly it could use more of it. There are opportunities for a tragic story it seems afraid to tell, pulling back from crucial moments where something very bad can happen.

    At its best, WorldEnd is almost poetic. The usage of "Scarborough Fair" to introduce the series is appropriate (and beautiful, I might add), though not in the way the song was originally written. For the unfamiliar, the song is about two former lovers who outline a series of nearly-impossible tasks for each other to complete if they are to be together again. The atmosphere of WorldEnd would suggest that it be just as impossible to have any kind of normal life as the tasks are in that song. After all, when a character feels like they could die any day now, you might not blame them for avoiding any real relationships.

    Who is it for?

    WorldEnd is for someone who welcomes a bit of drama and doesn't mind sitting through the slower parts to get it. There's a sweet story in there, but it takes a while for it to actually start.
     
    #1 Ginko, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017

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