The World Ends With You(r Nostalgia)

The reason why the Spellbook hasn’t been semi-retired is because The World Ends With You…kinda sorta. See, I think I still have more to say in this semi-official weekly platform and there is still a post or few I actually do want to complete, as opposed to the pile of drafts I’ve been relying on lately. One of the posts I want to write is about…well, the anime I just named.

The World Ends With You is treading new ground for me – I’ve never played the game, so my only advance knowledge of content that will come up in the anime is from reading spoilers. However, there’s something about the anime that is clearly emblematic of a certain time and place – specifically, it represents the cutting-edge trends of when the game first came out and that takes me back to a comfy spot in my memory, when the DS was still in vogue. I had a similar feeling about Saiyuki Reload Blast. If a series never really changes at its core, it can basically be like comfort food to a person, y’know? (Then again, nostalgia can only really occur if you were actually existing at the time – you can’t have nostalgia for something you’ve never done and obviously, if you’ve played the game, you’ll have even stronger memories of the time period in question than I do.)

TWEWY is also about style, the kind you only get in urban areas with high-end fashion and graffiti. Certainly, I’ve never been to the scramble crossing in person, but being on the streets of similar cities when the sun goes down and the multitude of lights blink into existence is enough to help one understand the hustle and bustle. In terms of artstyle, the anime has a very distinct flat style, with CGI Noise. That feeds back into the nostalgia factor – I seem to recall some people were appalled critters like the Noise existed in terribly-rendered 3D in 2021, but truth be told, that CGI is also part of the series’s identity.

Ultimately, TWEWY is more than an anime – it’s a time capsule. So if the world ends with you, at least be aware of the boundaries that have to be broken down in order to connect with others.

This post seemed to pull me in several directions – “the idea of connection that underpins the title” was the way I was hoping to go initially, but unfortunately the post didn’t really work out that way (and I don’t think the anime has progressed enough for me to talk about that topic yet…). So yeah…maybe that’s a topic for another post…

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