Sometimes I wonder if I’m better off titling these reviews by their Japanese names. It could be my old school nature to call animes by their English titles because that’s what I’m accustomed to having been one of the many that can remember anime on VHS and swapping tapes. Frankly World Break is easier for me to remember than Seiken Tsukai no Wārudo Bureiku, but with the golden age of the internet I don’t really know how other anime fans refer to it. I know this really has nothing to do with the show, but it is a thought that weighs heavily on me as I sat down to discuss World Breaker because I had an overwhelming need to discuss it with other viewers. Two episodes of the show have actually aired (depending on when you read this), but I’m just going to talk about the first. Which is rare. Usually I want to just pull the trigger and watch and talk about as many episodes as possible for a review, but this show really resonated with me.
It could be the fact that World Break (yeah that’s what I’m going with) touched on so many genres and reoccurring themes in anime and storytelling in general that it was easy to be swept up by it, because it did them all well.
The premise is that certain people are able to remember their past lives. Not everything, but enough here and there. Because of this they’re brought to a special school to train and learn about the powers that reside inside of them because of this. Step one is a protective set of clothing called a Plana and step two is ripping your dog tags off in a cool manner and pulling a weapon from your past out of thin air. They do this to protect against giant monsters called metaphysicals.
The first episode actually begins in the future with our main character Moroha Haimura and his classmates fighting an epic battle against a dragon. Out of context this scene was honestly confusing, but I liked what I was seeing and the variety of characters. That and Moroha floats in the air writing a spell for like five minutes before attaching it to his sword and slashing it at the dragon… kind of fucking cool if you ask me. And yes it is a bit ridiculous, but I like a world that does this type of action and magic and doesn’t make a joke about it.
The episode then goes into explaining the world and introducing Moroha at the opening ceremony (I swear I’ve seen enough of these in animes to last a life time). Moroha falls asleep and a girl with pink hair kicks him to wake him up. The result is a great animated sequence of folding chairs flying and being pushed back. I know this is stupid, but they actually moved and looked like cheap plastic folding chairs and so yes I did find that impressive.
It’s here that we meet two woman from Moroha’s past life and where it also gets interesting because they remember the past life in which their relationships were different. In this instance our pink haired, one pig-tail girl is named Satsuki Ranjo and she recognizes Moroha as Flaga her one time brother… who she had mad romantic feelings for. Moroha doesn’t really remember her though. It’s this delicate balance of “are you the person I know you to be or someone different now?” that is truly interesting. Especially considering they’re other women from Moroha’s past.
Sure that’s harem through and through, but I liked how he handled it as a character. Of course he was shy when confronted by romantic feeling instantly, but by the end of the episode he showed that he was a bit different from other romantic leads. For the first time in a situation like this I found myself interested more in the male lead than the women he was surrounded by.
I don’t know how different World Break will be in the end. The second female character Shizuno Urushibara that’s introduced seems like a throwaway character trying to appease the genre, but she could end up being a worthwhile secondary love interest. Or it could all go the way of Absolute Duo and become painfully average… but something tells me that’s not going to happen here.
Studio: Diomedea Distributor: Funimation