Good Night World Anime Series Review

Excellent Night time Global Anime Sequence Evaluation

VRMMORPG anime that is similar to Sword Art Online usually irritates me, or at the very least, it doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve avoided the MMORPG gaming genre, except for a short flirtation with dressing up as a sexy cat-girl in Final Fantasy XIV. This is mostly because I work a full-time job and my wife would kill me if I spent all of my time and energy grinding away on the internet. Even if the majority of Good Night World takes place in a VRMMORPG, the game at least makes an effort to go deeper and explore the scenario in a more intriguing way.

The “dysfunctional real family accidentally role-playing as a functional online family” could be a very painful storytelling device, but fortunately, later in the story, some (eventual) explanations are provided that make the situation less laughably ridiculous than it initially seems. The personalities portrayed by the members of the Akabane family diverge significantly from their true selves, and they are all sworn to secrecy regarding their true identities.

The main character Taichiro portrays Ichi, the sword-wielding, wide-brimmed hat-wearing patriarch of the Akabane household. As he sees the majority of the story through his eyes, he may be a difficult character to root for at points. In real life, Taichiro is malnourished, having neglected himself to the point of starvation, with disheveled hair, bad posture, and bulging, bloodshot eyes. His bedroom is filthy; it’s gloomy, hard, and overflowing with black trash bags. He’s been living alone in his room with PLANET as his only hobby for six years because of his bad connections with his family. Since Taichiro loves the term “shit,” you’ll have to get accustomed to him going on long, drawn-out tirades like “Stupid shitty world, stupid shit family, everything’s shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit!!” He’s a young edgelord gamer who lacks emotional development and has the worst, most monotonous speech. He didn’t appeal to me. Not at all.

Taichiro lives with his younger brother Asuma Arima, who is taller and usually more successful than Taichiro. Asuma Arima goes by “AAAAA” while playing online since he couldn’t be bothered to choose a name. Asuma thinks less of Taichiro because of his bad living choices, and Taichiro has an inferiority complex toward his brother. Father Kojiro Arima is a dedicated computer programmer who seems to be passionate about his job as a PLANET developer. He also appears in-game as Shiro Akabane, a strong, silver-haired father figure who is feared by other players. Sayaka Arima, the last character, is a hapless mother and wife who comes and goes from the home at random. She portrays May, the housekeeper and healer for the Akabane household. parenting her virtual kids takes up more of her time than parenting her boys in real life.

The initial part of the program covers in very dull detail the different intrigues and manipulations between several organizations waging a guild war, and the game PLANET feels incredibly generic. The story’s most similar segment to other, more generic VRMMORPG tales is this one. I wouldn’t have watched the program again if it had gone on like this the whole time. Does it really matter whether the Pirate Guild fails in a battle or disintegrates?

Thankfully, the sixth episode rips the rug out from under the viewer’s feet with a startling surprise that combines unique themes, throwaway lines, and particular narrative aspects. After the player character Pico’s actual identity is revealed, the environment abruptly becomes considerably more frightening, with very troubling existential consequences. I used to write off Pico as just another whining, obnoxious girl who was always trying to get Taichiro to notice her, but her final destiny is very heartbreaking and calls into question all of the “facts” that the program has established so far.

After that, the story picks up a lot more steam, shedding most of its dull MMORPG baggage and resembling an extended Black Mirror episode, complete with nested virtual worlds, digital consciousness duplication, unavoidable eternal suffering, and a healthy dose of existential horror. But Taichiro never ceases to irritate me.

The tale never quite manages to take off, even with this welcome excursion into darker, more substantial ground. It’s hampered by ambiguous character development, weak character writing, and subplots that are either discarded or not well addressed. Hana Kamuro, father Kojiro’s youthful female helper, for instance, seems to be developed as a significant supporting character but is ultimately written out of the story. Her motivations and her connection with Kojiro are never made clear.

Similarly, the eventual antagonist’s actual identity, “Black Bird,” is a bit of a stretch and defies logic, mostly due to the world’s overly ambiguous and flexible laws. Even though it’s an emotional conclusion, the message is undermined by how unclear it is. Was everything that we saw “real”? Was any of it really important? It’s difficult to talk about without giving away a lot of plot details, but I felt that the alleged huge “twist” finale was underdeveloped and poorly thought out.

A respectable job of creating passable animation is done by Studio NAZ. The show seems flawless and uninteresting. Unlike their latest, really bad Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer rendition, it doesn’t go apart quite as violently. In a similar vein, the music is passable but not remarkable. The English dub is passable but not particularly noteworthy. Good Night World shouts, “Mostly fine, I guess!” in every way.

All things considered, it’s a quite interesting program that takes some time to get going despite having an absurd concept at first and an unpleasant protagonist. It ends with a climax that might have been much more impactful, but it peaks in the middle with some substantial existential terror. It’s pleasant enough for a sporadic Netflix binge, but I doubt it will stick in my long-term memory.

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