Last week, all the expository guts were yanked out of The World Ends With You’s second story arc. There’s a lot going on here, and several questions need some answering. This week, the pressure cooker pops and we see the end of Reaper’s Game number two. But despite all the action and intrigue between six and seven, we’re left with possibly the biggest cliffhanger yet.
Once again, The World Ends With You really hammers on “trust.” The episode’s name is Joshua after all, and Neku’s new partner represents both ends of the trust equation. He’s only telling Neku what he thinks Neku needs to know, but is an extremely protective partner in battle. At the same time, we learn he’s totally subverted the Reaper’s Game, and that’s on top of Neku’s consistent vision of his death.
Neku, despite coming to terms with the situation last week, isn’t going to place the same level of trust in Joshua as he did Shiki. Shiki helped bring some of the latent humanity out of Neku, and Joshua is challenging it. With the threat of erasure popping off all around him, it’s gonna be hard for Neku to figure out all of this emotional stress.
Despite the tension, Joshua seems to be pushing Neku emotionally, although it’s unclear why. We get a variant of the title in the narrative, noting how Neku has found “the new You” after letting himself interact with other people. Then we see an emphatic display of Neku and Joshua’s main difference, the value they place on other’s lives.
The middle of this episode is probably some of the best action in the series yet. Neku and Joshua take on a “boss” fight, which unfortunately follows a few friendly departures. It’s a cool fight with big hits, and once it’s over the final day comes with a swift transition. And the showdown with Sho Minamimoto is awesome.
The World Ends With You has been a CGI hybrid throughout, for better or worse. But the folks behind this anime went all out for this true boss encounter. The camera work is much more interested in the fight’s minutia now, stepping further back so we can bear witness to Sho’s unmatched power. It’s good stuff, with the best choreography in the show so far.
From here it’s plot twist city, baby! The last several minutes of this episode are absolutely gut-wrenching. I’ve had internet issues today making my Funimation stream pretty fuzzy, but I was still engrossed in the unfolding events. As you may have expected, Neku finds himself in yet another Reaper’s Game. And if the stakes seemed steep before, well, next week just might clear that bar and then some.
Are you following along with The World Ends With You? Do you think it’s a good show or at least a solid anime adaptation? Are you hype for July when The World Ends With You NEO drops? Let us know at Prima Games’ Facebook and Twitter feeds!