Rejoice JRPG fans, for Square-Enix has just announced the sequel to The World Ends with You! According to today’s trailer, Neo: The World Ends with You will be arriving during the summer of 2021 to the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4. Take a peek here:
Based on the trailer, Neo will adopt its predecessor’s cel-shaded and splashy comic book styling, while also incorporating three-dimensional graphics. Square-Enix has also stated in its press announcement that the game will feature Rindo as the protagonist, and who has been forced into a life-or-death “Reapers’ Game” in the Shibuya area of Tokyo. Rindo will have to “uncover the mysteries behind the sinister Game” while fighting “alongside their ally companions in fast-paced action battles” against monsters, and while completing missions as well.
Neo will reportedly feature two additional characters of importance: Fret, who is Rindo’s high school friend, and a Shibuya college student named Nagi. Eagle-eyed fans have put together information about the cast based on information in the Japanese version of the trailer:
Naturally, this announcement has attracted a good deal of hype. Fans of the original game jumped to Twitter to voice their excitement for the game and comment on the characters. A number of fans referred to the eons that’ve passed since the original game’s release; no doubt, people are pleased that Neo‘s seeing the light of day.
The original game, The World Ends with You, came out for the Nintendo DS in Japan in July 2007. It then saw release in North America and the PAL regions during April 2008. Like Neo, the game allows the player to control one character — in this case Neku Sakuraba — who allies with a main cast to survive a Reapers’ Game. With a plot-intensive gameplay and comic book-like aesthetics, TWEWY weaves the player through tragic events and powerful revelations, while also throwing the player into a combat system called “Stride Cross Battle System.” The system utilizes the DS console’s touchscreen by having the player perform context-based touchscreen actions.
TWEWY met praise and financial success, winning an Editors’ Choice Award from IGN alongside the title of DS Game of the Month for April 2008. During its premiere week in Japan, it reached second place in the best seller’s list for DS titles. And in North America, the game became the top-selling DS title during its first week on shelves. Following this positive reception, Square-Enix worked with developer h.a.n.d. to port the game to mobile devices in 2012, and then released an enhanced port to the Nintendo Switch in 2018 titled The World Ends with You: Final Remix. The Switch port added new storyline content and graphics updates.
In addition, animation studios DOMERICA and Shin-Ei Animation have been tapped to produce an anime adaptation of TWEWY. Revealed during June 2020 as The World Ends with You: The Animation, the adaptation will be distributed worldwide by Funimation. The official promotional video for the anime suggests that the show will incorporate the game’s thick-lined comic book-like style and feature intense battle sequences.
The anime is set to premiere during April 2021, granting fans of TWEWY something to cheer on while they await the eventual — and highly-anticipated — release of Neo.