FEATURE: The Hook – “WorldEnd” and “Tsukigakirei”

While doing coverage of upcoming spring titles, there were two that caught our eye in the news room — for very different reasons. The sweet, subtle original project Tsukigakirei grabbed our attention with a promising cast and crew, while WorldEnd… well… caught our attention with the sheer length of its original light novel title.

 

Both are available now to watch, so it’s time to see how they stack up. What’s the hook that keeps us on board now that there’s more than news bytes? Let’s find out.

 

What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?


Shortened to SukaSuka in Japanese and WorldEnd in English, this new anime is (shocking, we know) based on a popular light novel. The action takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where anthromorphic animals and monsters reign supreme and the “disfeatured” — humans or human-looking creatures — are shunned. Willem Kmetsch, a rare human, rescues a blue-haired disfeatured girl named Chtholly from being harassed in the streets, and the two go on an Aladdin-esque trip through the wonders of the city. After their jaunt, she disappears, asking that he forget about her.

 

This will prove to be hard, as he takes a job at a military storehouse guarding a collection of weapons and she just happens to be there. Not only her… but also his old troll associate Nygglatho (who looks like a busty maid and talks like Kikuko Inoue) and a gaggle of little girls. And the storehouse looks more like living quarters than the warehouse.

 

The Hook: Well, you’ve probably guessed it. Chtholly and the girls are the weapons, and he’ll be looking after them. What they can do and why they needs watching over is yet to be seen.

 

But there’s another hook if you wait ’til after the credits. Willem may look like your average light novel late teens hero, but he’s older. Much, much older.

 

Who is it for: If you’re 100% done with light novel adaptations, this may not change your mind. But if you like post-apocalyptic stories with a dash of fantasy, it’s definitely a bit of fun. The very beginning of the first episode offers what looks to be the ending of the story, and there’s a lot to chew on just within those handful of seconds. How we get from wacky magical orphanage antics to airship battles (and a red-haired Chtholly) is going to be quite a trip.

 

If you want to read more about that opening scene and what it could mean for the rest of the series, check out Peter Fobian’s Head Space feature on WorldEnd.

 

WorldEnd airs Tuesdays at 9 AM PDT.

 

Tsukigakirei

 

Tsukigakirei (official translation “As the moon, so beautiful.”) is an original piece by Yuuko Kakihara, who’s worked in the past on Kids on the Slope, Chihayafuru, and Orange. This show begins as a sweet coming-of-age/romance for a group of third-year middle schoolers. In particular we focus on the track runner Akane, who is heavily afflicted with social anxiety, and Kotaro, a quiet budding author. Both are uncomfortable in public, with Kotaro retreating into his books and Akane communicating primarily via LINE.

 

The Hook: The two meet in an awkward situation, but that awkwardness doesn’t preclude their desire to see more of each other. The exchange of LINE names is treated with extreme reverence. But after seeing Akane’s reliance on the app, it doesn’t seem corny at all. The series will likely be one of emotional bumps rather than visceral shocks.

 

Who is it for: Anyone who wants a little chill in their anime-watching. Giant robots destroying planets and magical girls breaking your heart (or vice-versa these days) are fun, but it’s also nice to settle in with a very intimate, very quiet story.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the real-world influences on this series, check out Wilhelm Donko’s two-part “Anime vs. Real Life” feature on Tsukigakirei (part 1, part 2).

 

Tsukigakirei airs Thursdays at 9:30 AM PDT.

 

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Kara Dennison is responsible for multiple webcomics, blogs and runs interviews for (Re)Generation Who and PotterVerse, and is half the creative team behind the OEL light novel series Owl’s Flower. She blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.