What They Say:
Petrified for five hundred years, Willem Kmetsch wakes up to find he has nothing left in a world where his kind is extinct—a world that sees him as unnatural.
To survive, Willem takes on a job as a weapons caretaker only to discover that these are something more—they’re young leprechaun girls with the power to wield the mighty “dug weapons,” the only hope against the seventeen beasts. And they’re ready to die for their purpose. A fact that doesn’t sit right with Willem and leads him to care for the girls, especially the eldest, Chtholly. Soon, the girls begin to develop a desire to live and love until suddenly, something within Chtholly breaks.
What happens when weapons develop a will to live, and what will happen to the world they’re meant to save?
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo while the English dub gets a 5.1 bump, both of which are encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The show is one that largely sticks to a dialogue based approach with lots of kids running around and plenty of serious conversation along the way as well. We do get a few areas of magic and action spread throughout it that steps up the design a bit more across the forward soundstage and these are areas where the 5.1 mix gets to live a little more as well. The show handles the dialogue pretty well in general with what it does as there’s plenty of movement across the forward soundstage and they’re moving around a lot with the size of the cast in general. The bigger moments have some nice material to it but it is, for the most part, pretty straightforward. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2017, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve episodes are spread across two discs with nine on the first and three on the second. Animated by Satelight and C2C, the show has an appealing look to it with the character designs and the color mix used for it as there’s some really nice hair coloring that catches the eye. The designs are nicely detailed without being overdone or underdone and there’s a lot of solid color outfits there with all the kids, all of which holds together well with a clean and solid look to it. The solidity of the colors is a lot of the appeal here as there’s some really nice shades that were used. The character animation has its moments of high fluidity that do look really nice but they’re few and far between. It’s a dialogue-driven show for the most part so it keeps things simple and it all looks good with a clean encode that will please fans wanting something that captures the source material right.
The packaging for this release brings us a slightly thicker than normal Blu-ray case that holds the four discs for the two formats while also including an o-card. The o-card uses different artwork than the case with each of them showing off some of our combat girls with their weapons in illustrated form. They’re simple with a soft white background and a lot to like in the designs themselves but the heavy text logo is just problematic because you end up feeling it’s ridiculous the more you read of it. Appealing cover artwork goes a long way but overly wordy covers don’t help much. The back covers for both are the same but you can see the different in cardstock quality really well here with the rainbow element mixed in. The summary of the premise is well-handled and we get some nice shots from the show. With no extras included it reaffirms the episode count while the technical grid breaks down both formats cleanly and accurately. While there are no show related inserts included we do get more artwork on the reverse side with it done the same as the front but featuring two more characters.
The menu design for this release goes for the simple approach as we get the static image design. This takes the cover artwork with the character and text and expands it across more of the white background, which is softened nicely here. The colors look great with them coming across richer than the cover and it takes up a nice chunk of real estate to give it some real appeal. The navigation is kept to the lower left with the disc number and the navigation, which is naturally a bit standard with the episode and language setup being the primary thing. It all works smoothly and without problem for both the main menu and the pop-up menu during playback.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novel series Shūmatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka? By Akira Kareno, the show is known in shorthand as SukaSuka but was localized with the lengthy WorldEnd What Do You Do At The End Of The World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? The series aired as part of the spring 2017 season with Junichi Wada directing it. The show has two light novel series with Yen Press picking up the first six-volume series while the second one and the manga adaptation are unlicensed. I didn’t see much said about the series when it aired and that let me go into this without any real prejudgement as I had liked the visuals I had seen with the covers and character designs. Sadly, the series is one that has some nice ideas to it but comes across in a way that doesn’t work as there’s no strong narrative to really move it along.
The premise for this does have some potential as we’re dealing with an alternate world some five hundred years or so after an immense war unfolded. Humanity almost went extinct during this as a lot of large and dangerous beasts roamed the land and were almost impossible to stop. While humanity is barely a blip at this point, what we did get was the rise of other races that are essentially humaniform animals that have assumed most of the same roles. The focus is on one man from during that war named Willem that ended up being frozen during a battle and has now woken up into this new world. Here, he’s introduced to a group of girls known as Leprechauns who can use the weapons of humanity from that distant past in order to deal with the beasts that are still out there and causing trouble. These beasts are basically large and primal kinds of creatures so it’s not exactly a fully sentient and thinking enemy but they have the numbers and there are few that can wield the weapons to defeat them.
Willem’s knowledge makes sense for why he’d end up living with the girls known as the Leprechauns, though most of them are little and there are only five weapons, two of which are out in the field when he arrives there and for a chunk of the season. Willem’s our link to the past and what went on then though he didn’t see the end of the war. There’s a moment when the ruins of his village are visited and we get to see him talking some about what he faced off against back then which certainly feels like some impressive opponents – especially compared to what we get toward the end of the season when the modern day versions surface. Willem’s time with the girls in the present doesn’t lead to a lot of training, though we get some, but there are interesting moments where we see how the weapons are “expanded” in exploded view to be revealed as shards of dreams and wishes from the past that form the weapon. It’s an interesting angle that would be better exploited and utilized in a better show.
Naturally, there has to be some potential for romance or at least interest to complicate things and that comes in the form of Chtholly, one of the oldest of the Leprechauns in the place. She’s got some skill and has a connection to Willem in that the weapon she used once belonged to someone from his past. She’s interested in him from the start and that becomes kind of secondary plot point in order to give her something to look toward even as she struggles with what she is and how she’s changing amid the use of the weapons and her abilities. The other kids in the place don’t have much in the way of adult or meaningful interaction with Willem, which allows most of the interactions to be through Chtholly. The problem is that she doesn’t have much going for her in terms of personality or anything else and the kids are even worse in a way, though they’re at least active and moving around.
Honestly, after watching the show I have no idea what it is they’re trying to tell in terms of story here. The general theme is that family is important but it doesn’t get that done effectively or in a way that really connects and feels meaningful. There’s little in the way of action to the series and the background/worldbuilding elements are even weaker for me. We get it scattered across the show but it’s really just trappings instead of key pieces that really help it all feel fully realized. While the show does bring us to some bigger moments toward the end with the beasts and the fight there as well as what Chtholly is struggling with, none of it really resonates. We get a lot of flashes of what she’s dealing with throughout the series but nowhere near weight to anchor it within the story. Everything is far, far, too superficial in this show.
While I’ve joked about series where at the end of it I have no clue what it’s about there are always things to connect with about it in terms of story or character. WorldEnd feels like it fails to do well with either of those things while also falling apart on worldbuilding. There’s some appealing animation and design work throughout this that made for some good scenes, particularly with Elq in the final episode, but it lacks anything to really make it stick and feel fully realized or engaging. Funimation put together a decent release with it here as it’s a clean and solid looking encoding with a dub that gets the job done. The lack of extras is unfortunate but not all that surprising since they couldn’t do clean versions and had to add on translated credits after each episode. For fans of the show I’m glad that they’ll be able to own it but this is one I can’t imagine making a lot of new fans.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles
Content Grade: C-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.