Flash Review – World End (Vol. 5)

Welp, Willem’s a Beast, Elq’s gone missing, and Nephren has to put up with a chatty flying fish. Things can’t get much worse, except that in a series whose parable is Murphy’s Law, they can.

Feelin’ Like A God:

Barring something inspired by Lovecraft, gods in stories tend to just be humans who can whip up hurricanes with a snap of their fingers. Impressive, but WorldEnd takes a subtler approach. Its Visitors can crush a person simply because their souls are so massive and dense, and talking with them can turn your insides into jelly. These’re small touches, but they go a long way in making its gods feel like actual gods and not just extraordinarily sexy human beings.

The Casual Style:

Here’s something that’s bothered me for most of the series. If I were explaining WorldEnd to the uninformed, I would describe it as an artsy series, its structure and prose often arranging themselves poetically. But then in the next scene will be casual lines slithering for the boundary of comedy, and I don’t think it ever managed to integrate these that well. It’s fine for carefree scenes, such as when Willem was playing daddy, but it’s jarring when events are more serious.

Uh, The Climax?

This being the final entry into the series, it tries its darndest at wrapping everything up for everybody, but it includes an absurd number of characters, some of them new, and it reads less like the third act of the series and closer to its epilogue. There is a proper climax to taper the overarcing plot off, but it’s against a golem we’ve never heard of built by people we’ve never heard of, so it feels like we just get some stand-in for the final conflict.

The Tragic Hero:

From its onset this series has been about how ends are inevitable, and while it’s a bit on the nose about this at times, it perfectly encapsulates this downer moral through Willem, who wants desperately to protect the people dearest to him. I wouldn’t call him the best character in the series, but he’s easily the most sympathetic, fighting against a fate that’s out to get him, and he gets so battered and beaten that you just wanna cry yes when the final chapter asks if you’d snuggle up to him.

The Verdict:

It’s not the strongest finish for the series, but it does an adequate job of tying things up and leaving them resolved. It would’ve been better off focusing on its core cast rather than trying to throw all the bit players in for one last hoorah, as well as have a final conflict that didn’t pull a new set of baddies out the wazoo. But for what it’s worth, it sticks to its despairing guns and gives us an ending that’s defiant as its protagonist, proving that sometimes there is such a thing as Happily Ever After.

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