The World Ends With You Final Remix manga adaptation of the video game was published by Square Enixs manga imprint Gangan. It was written and illustrated by the original developers of the video game Tetsuya Nomura and Gen Koybashi. This one shot manga is set in the shopping district of Shiybuya in Japan similar to the original video game. Neku wakes up in the middle of the street one day without any recollection to his past or who he is. He realizes that he is in a game of life and death and he partners up various other players like Shiki, Joshua and Beat.
The main goal is to survive an entire week in order to beat the game while completing daily objectives or facing erasure while also fighting off enemies called noise. To defeat them he has to use pins that give him psychic powers and be able to read minds of unsuspecting people. In addition, Neku and his friends learn more about each other and develop a close bond throughout the game.
So how would the manga hold up to the game that’s where things start to get confusing really quick. The story is very disjointed. Characters are just introduced all at once without any given explanation. For example, two of the characters Beat and Rhyme they are introduced in chapter 2 without even explaining how they meet or who they are. Characters can be discarded just as randomly as they are introduced without ever being mentioned again.
Panels would often jump back and forth from one point to the next almost at an instant. The flow of the story is feels disrupted and incoherent throughout. It does not really explain much on what is really happening or provide any backstories of the characters.
You barely get to know the names of the characters like Neku, Beat, Rhyme, Joshua and Shiki. But that’s just about it and if you hadn’t played the game you have no reason to care about them at all in this adaptation. Another major problem is the extremely short length with only 2 chapters. The story is rushed and 2 chapters cannot do justice to a rich and complex game like The World Ends With You. The manga is too condensed and simplified to do justice to the game.
If you have not played the game, then the manga is very confusing as it expects the reader to know what is going.
One of the major highlights in the original story was the character development for Neku and his partners. This is where the manga is sadly lacking. Day 1 does a time skip where it just skips a lot of the story and there is no context. Concepts such as the rules of the game and who are the Reapers are barely given any explanation. Other important concepts in the game such as memes, reaper creeper and tin pin are missing. The noise from the game appears but hardly in action happens. It just skips on to the next part after the battle.
The manga focuses way too much on humor rather than actually completing the objectives. The missions are not explained and are barely completed. There are plot holes in the story. One point during chapter 2 late in the story, Joshua and Mr. H just happened to be there where Shiki and Neku were shopping. Joshua was spying on them the whole time but manga provide no explanation as to why Neku’s partner would spy on him. They hardly anything to do with the main story as well and it felt really like a pointless cameo.
Even though the reapers are the main antagonists in the game, they hardly play a part in the main story of the manga. They take a backseat during the duration of the 2 chapters. They really don’t do much of anything to stop the main protagonists from reaching their goals, unlike the game where the Reapers were very proactive in preventing Neku and his partners from accomplishing their objectives.
There were inconsistencies in the artwork as Neku’s hairstyle changed from its original to a mohawk and then back to his original hair. This was shoddy editing. The way things are set and the way things end are very anti climatic and the ending feels empty and abrupt.
There were very few redeeming qualities. The detailed edgy graffiti art style is really the only commendable thing I can find with the manga. Characters still retain their original personalities for the most part even with the little depth they were given, and the original concept of the game is still there despite its severe underdevelopment.
This is honestly one of the worst manga I have read. It is not that it did not do justice to the game, it did not even try. Fans of the game deserved better.
It gets 1 star out of 5.
Buy the video game either on the Ds or Switch instead.
The manga is a huge disappointment for fans of the original game.