WORLD END ECONOMiCA episode.02
Picking up 4 years after the first episode, World End Economica episode 2 takes place during the largest economic boom in history. Multiple cities are under construction, and optimism is on an all time high. But behind the scenes the system is dysfunctional. The protagonist is working at a government office, uninterested in what the market is up to. But circumstances pull him back in the game, and he inevitably ends up investigating what’s really going on behind the scenes.
A curious detail about the story is that it isn’t as futuristic as you might expect. It takes place on the moon, but the economic system appears to be on the same technological level as Earth today. This makes it easier to follow, as everything you learn in economics class it directly applicable to the plot. But as sci-fi it becomes a bit unbelievable that they wouldn’t have advanced to something well beyond this. Clearly a stylistic choice, which will make the story retro-futuristic in 5 years when our world leaves the game behind.
I have a couple issues with game, one of the character relations is a bit too awkward. It felt like the author didn’t quite know what to do in some of the scenes, as the emotions come off flat, like an alien trying to describe human feelings. Thankfully toward the end those problems disappear, and the most important scenes are nailed. But before you get there, you’ll see someone’s eyes described as “beautiful” over five times. It gets a bit weird. On a positive note, everyone’s motives and wants are clearly defined. So even with the weaker parts, on the whole it does a good job at storytelling.
I’ve seen people who feel Batman is outdated as a concept. Crimes today aren’t committed by gangs of goons robbing people on the street. World End Economica shows what modern crime is like. It all happens out of sight, and if you don’t look close enough it’s possible to believe it doesn’t exist. What I like most about it, is how it puts a human face on every party involved, both at the tops and bottoms of society, without losing sight of the main characters. The corporations committing fraud rationalize their actions by blaming the government, while they at the same time lobby to have the rules changed to allow even more corruption. There’s no need to physically hurt anyone to destroy them. Reputation is everything.
The episode is quite long, just like the first one, and it's well paced. Much time is spent painting a holistic image of the world it takes place in. On the way some characters get lost, as they seem to have no role in the story at all. But on the whole I had a great time, only noticing the obvious flaws after it was over. I’m looking forward to seeing how far it goes in the final episode, because here in episode 2 it sets it up for something big.