The World Ends With You is an anime adaptation of the video game of the same name. The story follows Neku who wakes up in the middle of Shibuya Crossing, with no recollection of how he ended up there. It turns out that he is caught in the “Reapers Game” and he has only 7 days to survive in order to make it through the end. The only way he can survive in the Underground Shibuya is to partner up with someone, which is extremely challenging for Neku as he is very anti-social.
There were some callbacks to the original game like syncing and fusion attacks. Like in the game you could also see the scene transitions with the location names being written in graffiti style. Also, episodes ended in the same graffiti style chapters ended in the original game. You can see they also borrowed the sprites from the game and implemented in the anime as another nice visual callback.
The missions are the same as is in the original game where players have to reach certain area in a limited amount of time or else they would get erased. Like in the game, players use pins to fight “noise” which are the enemies and the anime includes much of the pins from the original game which is a nice touch. Something that wasn’t in the game was bigger noise feeding off smaller noise to become more powerful so that could also be seen in Neo The World Ends With You.
The edgy graffiti inspired artstyle as well as the character designs were superb. Shibuya looks much more modernized as times have changed since the game came out, but it still feels and looks familiar. Smartphones have replaced flip phones like back in the late 2000s. All of the locations and names of the game still remain the same. The glitchy visuals was nice new touch to the anime.
The same composer from the game returns to make the music in the anime. Twister was used as the opening just like in the original game but it would have been really nice to see Teenage City Riot, the original opening be used in the anime. The anime did not utilizeother songs from the game like “Someday” or “Deja Vu”. The atmosphere of Shibuya is just the same as the game.
Unlike the game, the anime does add moments of blood which is pretty unique. The anime also introduces a player vs player scenario where they must fight each other to survive and this concept is going to be used in Neo The World Ends With You. The anime had a day and night cycle and weather cycle which provided some variance. The anime has its downsides.
The humor from the game was missing in the anime and this was a big negative for me. The anime missed the chance to use the infamous “pants off scene” from the game. The video game was dark but it had some comedy while this anime is darker than the original game with blood and on screen deaths of other players. While the anime added a couple of new noise like Spiders and Fish, many other noises were neglected from being added to the adaptation due to time constraints.
There were some things missing from the game in the anime. Because of the fast pace, characters were not fully defined and the chemistry between them was not the same. Characters that had some interaction in the game were missing in the anime. Neku’s monologue in the intro wasn’t in the anime which was very much a wasted opportunity. Neku was also much more polite, outgoing and more trusting in the anime. (Also in the Japanese version of the game as well) “Tin Pin Slammer” a mini game that was like Bey-Blade from the game is completely absent.
The dialogue was more modernized to reflect millennial terminology. This may result in the anime not aging well. There were some references from the original game used in the dialogue though which was a nice touch. The character development is really rushed and so many characters often pop in and out and were just introduced all at once due to the short length.
The story was very rushed and instead of having the days in just one episode, they’ve just crammed in as many as possible. The pacing did eventually slowdown in later episodes. The animation was really stiff and the cgi was very obvious especially with the noise. The action wasn’t really good either and it was very predictable.
Be warned to those who have motion sickness as the camera will move around quite a lot in the anime. Overall, the anime was a decent adaptation of the game.
It gets 2 out of 5 stars.