Sunday, 01 March 2009 04:51

World Destruction (TV, 2008)

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Overview


Those who will destroy ZE VORLD!!

Kyrie has a problem. It's not that he's human, although he's a human in a world ruled by beastmen where humans are slaves or worse. It's not that he's posing as a beastman in order to find work, though that's where his problem met him. It's not even that he's a pretty nice guy... though if he wasn't, his problem might not have been his problem. No, poor, hapless Kyrie's problem isn't all those things – it's a woman named Morte that's just walked into the tavern where he works... A woman who's made it her personal mission to make sure that the world comes to an end, post haste. And unfortunately for Kyrie and a little teddy bear named Toppi, thanks to a little misunderstanding, everybody thinks that they're with her, members of the World Destruction Committee...

Fields USA Info Japanese Info Image
Title World Destruction: Sekai bokumetsu no Rokunin Death was never so cute.
Alternative ワールド・デストラクション ~世界撲滅の六人~
Dates 2008.07.08 - 2008.09.08
Company Production I.G., Sega, Techno Sound
Creator Sega
Director Shunsuke Tada
Genre Fantasy, Drama, Humor
Related World Destruction: Futari no Tenshi (Manga), World Destruction: Michibikrareshi Ishi (Nintendo DS)

Review


The WDC... making sure the sands of time run out promptly.

Alright, here's a rare twist. A quest devoted not to SAVING the world... but to ENDING it. That's right. We're on a journey to flush the cosmic toilet that the world is floating in, and looking forward to watching it go down in one big swirl. Or in this case, to disintegrate back into sand. See, the world of World Destruction is one filled with oceans of sand. It's not a desert, mind you – it's just that instead of water, the oceans are full of sand. So, with that in mind, let's turn back to Kyrie, shall we? Our young friend, wearing a set of cat ears and a tail so he can blend in with the beastmen, has found himself a job working in a tavern. One morning while he's working his shift, a cloaked traveler comes in and orders a meal.

Unfortunately, soon after some police show up too, and Kyrie, who's just dropped off the traveler's lunch, gets taken hostage by the cloaked traveler, who's revealed to be a rather beautiful, fierce woman with a very, very big weapon. Unfortunately, in the confusion, Kyrie loses his ears... and as we discover, a human hostage isn't nearly as valuable as a beastman hostage. Well, somehow or other, they manage to escape, Morte dragging him along with her despite him pleading to be let go...

World Destruction is based on a Nintendo DS game of the same name published by Sega in 2008 and coming to the US sometime in 2009. It follows the journey of a terrorist 'organization' – the afore mentioned World Destruction Committee, which in the anime consists entirely of Morte at the beginning – and Kyrie in their quest to destroy a world gone too far down the wrong road to save. There's a legend that an artifact called the Destruct Code, which Morte received among her brother's belongings after he was killed while fighting against the beastmen, can destroy the world if one can figure out how to activate it. Doing so will return the world to a pristine state of sand so that it can start over again. Kyrie and Toppi get dragged along because the woman just doesn't understand the meaning of no, and they just haven't got the force of will to beat her.

You just know those two are going to clash at some point...

Now, on the face of it, World Destruction doesn't look like a particularly special series, and I suppose to be fair, I have to admit that beyond its premise, the flow of the story is pretty generic. Spineless boy meets strong-willed girl, girl drags boy along on her quest, wackiness ensues. Eh, maybe not spineless, but certainly pacifistic, but then, that's part of the mismatched character dynamic that is the real strength of the series. Though they disagree with her intentions, Kyrie and Toppi don't have a choice but to go along with her, because to the rest of the world they're members of the WDC, whether they want to be or not. Much of the story is focused on developing the reasons why Morte is traveling to see the world destroyed – and honestly, after awhile I started to agree with her reasoning. There's some good role reversal to be found buried in World Destruction, stuff you wouldn't really expect from that generic outset.

Like I've said, Kyrie is pacifistic – all things considered, he just wants to get along with the beastmen and keep himself hidden. He's been run out of human villages before when the beastmen came calling, and is just looking for a place where he can fit in – even if it means pretending to be one of them. Now, of course, this is based on an RPG, and you know there's no such thing as a character with as much will to 'just fit in' as Kyrie has that doesn't have secrets, right? Right, just remember that and you'll be just fine. He's a well balanced character though, and it helps a lot that the cast plays off against itself well.

Dramatic light setup... check.

On the other side of the scale is Morte... Beautiful, hot, hot-headed, fierce, and down right MEAN Morte. She might have been a good person once – and throughout the series, you really start to see that. Actually, she's not quite as evil as she'd have people believe, but Morte is one of those characters you see every so often that was wounded so deeply that it completely changed her – so deeply that while the surface seems to have healed, the injuries remain within. That's actually where a fair part of the ongoing development goes. Exploring her past, exploring her reasons – and even delving a little into the healing that Kyrie and Toppi are able to begin helping her to do.

Right between them is the chibi teddy-bear Toppi, a wandering hero-kuma. As in, he outright and proudly proclaims that he's a wandering hero-kuma. And let's be honest... the little guy as damned tough-kuma. He also tends to end all his sentences in kuma-kuma. It's a character trait, like Suiseiseki's –desu, but after awhile the novelty wears off-kuma. He gets no end of teasing by Morte and Kyrie about being a bear (kuma), though he constantly denies it. That said, he's loyal to his friends despite agonizing about being partially responsible for the impending world destruction when he's supposed to be a hero.

There are, of course, other characters that they meet throughout the course of their world tour, notably the counter-force formed to prevent them from destroying the world, the World Salvation Committee, made up up of Naja, a human-wolf half-breed, and Lia, one of the last dragons remaining in the world. Beyond them, there's also the greater cast of people that they meet along their journey that help to flesh out the world around them.

Those eyes... gaaah!

The animation in World Destruction is a bit on the simplistic side. That's not to say that it's bad, or lacks detail – for instance, Morte's outfit has some nicely intricate patterning on the edges, and Lia's gothic Lolita outfit is full of ruffles and lace that is quite well done. The clothing design is great, really, layered and suitable to the Victorian era world that we're presented with. I just thought that a bit more effort could have gone into the artwork in general. The flow of the animation is smooth though, with a good emphasis on the fights that take place, so I'm not going to complain. It could have been better, but it's still pretty good. The character design, like the clothing design, was really good I thought, though the emphasis was most definitely on the main characters.

Voice acting wise I was happy, and really don't have much else to say about it. They did good work, nothing spectacular, but it's what I'd expect from any well produced series, maybe a bit better. I will say that I'm rather fond of the opening and ending themes for World Destruction. ZER0 by AAA is a strange fusion of trance, rock, and 80's cheese that sounds good none the less, while the ending theme, Kaze no Kioku by Aimmy is a gentler piece that does a lot to sum up the depth of Morte's character when paired with the closing credits animation.

Overall


Who knew... she's a bunny girl.

Unfortunately, when I suggested World Destruction to K`thardin he watched about ten minutes of it and then turned his nose up at it for being too generic. I think that it's partly that's because he can't stand stories about people that won't stand up and fight for themselves, which, honestly, is very true about the vast majority of the humans in this world. It's a pity, because while the premise – setting aside that it's a journey to destroy the world instead of save it – is basic, the characters and story that is told are not. There's a very good interplay amongst the members of the World Destruction Committee, and those around them who's lives they touch.

If I have to fault any one thing about the series, it would be that I think it was too short. Now, to be fair, while it is based upon the game, the anime is vastly different – effectively an alternate version, rather than one designed to retell the game. The manga that's started running sticks much closer to the game proper. With that in mind, rather than just thirteen well paced episodes, which we did get, I'd have liked to see twenty-four, if just because I think that the underlying storyline could have handled it easily and been better for the extra time. It is also rather episodic in nature, though I felt that the main storyline was always running and being properly advanced despite that truth.

I enjoyed the series, and would recommend it to anybody that likes a good story and good action.

... This is going to hurt, isn't it?

One word of advice... if you happen to see Morte's skirt tear... be elsewhere...

Additional Info

  • Format: Television
  • Animation: Groovy (+5)
  • Writing: Groovy (+5)
  • Pacing: Groovy (+5)
  • Voice Acting: Groovy (+5)
  • Soundtrack: Groovy (+5)

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