What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? (SukaSuka)
Episode 5

by Paul Jensen,

How would you rate episode 5 of
WorldEnd ?

For better or for worse, Willem's adventures in the city of Corna di Luce continue this week. The girls fill him in on the events of the battle, with the most important piece of information being the appearance of a dangerous new enemy. The monsters will have to wait, however, because there's some civil unrest to deal with first. Willem initially refuses to help Phyr, the daughter of a local politician, deal with the threat posed by the rebellious Annihilation Knights. Of course, when push comes to shove, he has a plan up his sleeve for taking down the street gang. Chtholly and company head home, but Willem decides to stay behind after hearing a familiar name from a member of the military police.

As if to remind viewers of what we missed by taking this narrative detour, we finally get a glimpse of what happened in the battle. The brief fight scene earns some points for its strong visual presentation, but it's difficult to get emotionally invested in the battle when we already know the outcome. At this point, it functions more as a necessary piece of exposition than as a dramatic highlight for the series. With that disappointment out of the way, we're led along on another side story of questionable value. The business with the Annihilation Knights doesn't contribute much to the overall narrative, apart from giving Willem a chance to act as a standard-issue protagonist. So much for the whole “hero who can't fight” thing.

Even when looked at on its own, this storyline is pretty underwhelming. Willem and Phyr argue back and forth on the topic of using force in pursuit of justice, leading to some clunky dialogue and muddled philosophy. It seems especially odd to have Willem beat up the baddies without a moment's hesitation after he spoke out against the idea of fighting over ideology. Wouldn't it have been more effective to let him resolve the situation without resorting to violence? I suppose it's not a big deal either way, since the Annihilation Knights are far too incompetent to be taken seriously. What we ultimately get is a dull blend of half-hearted moral debate and dumb comedy.

There may yet be reason to hold out hope, however. The episode eventually finds time for a conversation between Willem and Chtholly, and their latest heart-to-heart is rather sweet despite coming up short on nuance and subtlety. Things wrap up with a big hint about the next plot arc, and it looks like SukaSuka might be getting back into the meat of its story. Having Willem recognize someone's name carries some intriguing implications, especially since he doesn't sound happy to hear it. This could just be someone he met after waking up, but my money's on an acquaintance from the distant past. That has the potential to shake up our understanding of the show's world, and it could also serve as the starting point for a new and more compelling conflict.

For the most part, this episode is a clunky continuation of an ill-advised detour. Even a second appearance by the fun little clay-man cops isn't enough to justify the dull encounter with the Annihilation Knights. The good news is that the series makes a welcome decision to wrap it all up and move on to something more interesting. If SukaSuka can shake off the dust from these last two weeks and get back into its dramatic groove, then it could stage a timely comeback in the next episode. If not, we may be in for a very long season.

Rating: C+

What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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