Image source: TVアニメ「すかすか」公式 on Twitter

And as WorldEnd shows, you never know when circumstances will turn old rivalries into unsteady alliances.

[Note: This article contains major spoilers for up to episode seven of WorldEnd: What are you doing at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?]

WorldEnd: What are you doing at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?, this season’s winner of the Long Title That Describes the Series Without Revealing Too Much Award, is a fantasy story that takes place in a world where humanity is all but extinct. 500 years ago, one of the last remaining humans, Willem Kmetsch fought the evil being EbonCandle in a final battle that destroyed EbonCandle’s body and placed both EbonCandle and Willem in hibernation. Now, Willem has awakened to a very different world than the one he left behind—a world that faces an even greater threat than EbonCandle. And then he encounters his old nemesis again.

Willem Kmetch was a warrior and a hero. Together with his companions, he fought against EbonCandle using legendary weapons called “Dug Weapons.” Unfortunately, the battle took its toll on both sides. After EbonCandle was rendered powerless, he spoke to Willem, prophesying his eventual return and that Willem had done nothing but buy a little time.

Willem’s body had been critically damaged and he was petrified, turning to stone for 500 years. When he was discovered and awakened, he found himself in a world where there are no humans—and the beings that inhabit the world live in floating islands to avoid creatures called Beasts that had taken over the land below.

It’s like playing to the end of a massively long RPG, defeating the final boss, watching a 500 year credit scroll and then realizing that you’ve only completed the prologue and now the entire game stage’s changed on you. By the way, your race is blamed for the emergence of the Beasts.

Image source: TVアニメ「すかすか」公式 on Twitter

With no humans left alive to use the legendary weapons—the only things left that can fight the Beasts—the surviving races have to resort to employing Leprechauns, child-like fairies that can mimic humans. Willem is tasked with being the caretaker of the Leprechauns as they continue to fight to protect the surviving races in a battle of attrition with no foreseeable conclusion other than the eventual decimation of all life on the planet.

In episode six, Willem receives a summons from the great sage, Souwong Kandel. It turns out that Souwong is one of Willem’s old companions who has survived over the past 500 years through the use of a curse. Souwong then takes Willem to see his old nemesis, EbonCandle. Or rather, what’s left of him.

The evil being, EbonCandle has been reduced to nothing but a giant black talking skull. His body burned away in the battle with Willem, after EbonCandle awoke again, he was forced to use his power to tear off chunks of the planet and suspend them in the sky to avoid the Beasts. Working together with Souwong, they devised a way to combat the Beasts with the dug weapons despite the lack of humans to wield them.

Image source: TVアニメ「すかすか」公式 on Twitter

With the revelation that his nemesis and the reason he was petrified in the first place is the only reason that there are survivors in this world, one can only imagine what it must feel like for Willem.

Upon hearing that Souwong and EbonCandle are responsible for the Leprechauns and their being used as disposable weapons, Willem responds with anger as can be expected. However, the simple fact that a being that once threatened the world is now its savior has not yet been fully addressed—especially when it’s obvious that the only reason EbonCandle went as far as to abandon his own regeneration to levitate the floating islands is because it was in his own interest: He didn’t want to face the Beasts himself. What he is has not changed, only his priorities.

There is no doubt in my mind that the minute the Beasts are out of the picture, EbonCandle will return to his old ways. Still, at present, Willem has to deal with the fact that his old nemesis is not his enemy any more, and in fact is likely considered a savior more than Willem ever was.

EbonCandle is a rather fascinating character in and of himself. If anything, he seems nonchalant upon seeing the man who destroyed his body, going out of his way to play the evil overlord shtick for old time’s sake. I look forward to seeing Willem and EbonCandle interact again in the series, if and whenever that is.

Image source: TVアニメ「すかすか」公式 on Twitter

WorldEnd: What are you doing at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? Can be viewed with English subtitles on Crunchyroll and with English dialogue on FUNimation.

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