Anime about video games can be really cool, especially when they talk about big real-world problems and keep things relatable. Good Night World, the newest Netflix Original Anime, does a great job of showing how talking through a computer can help people connect in a way that’s almost impossible face-to-face. Especially when they’re dealing with really tough feelings like grief.
Uru Okabe, the creator and mangaka, brought Good Night World to life based on the manga with the same name. Shogakukan has been publishing it in Ura Sunday and MangaONE since 2016. Despite the fantasy MMO setting seeming impersonal and leaning towards a power fantasy, the actual experience is much lonelier and more sombre
Japanese anime, a genre that explored the nuances of technology and its impact on society long before it became trendy, has been influential. From Akira to Ghost in the Shell, anime movies and TV series influenced American directors and served as inspiration for modern classics like The Matrix. Netflix is well aware of this legacy, and that’s a major reason why the streaming platform is adding the new anime series Good Night World to its slate of animated features.
Good Night World Anime Review
Meet the Arima family: “The Akabane family” embodies common tropes: a shut-in older brother, and an overachieving younger brother. A father whose detachment and temperament earn him no respect from his children, and a mother neglectful of her household. Individually and collectively, none of them comprehends the essence of a genuine family, a reality intensified when tragedy strikes. However, they all experience the warmth of an online family in “Planet.” You will learn about family, think about what’s important online, and understand what it means to be human.
The initial moments of Good Night World establish the series as another light-hearted gaming Isekai anime adventure, featuring a guild family competing against others to win prize money. This money hinges on locating and defeating the game’s final boss, the “Black Bird of Happiness.” However, as we shift to the real world and encounter Ichi’s user, Taichiro, for the first time. The series takes a much darker turn – not for the worse in terms of narrative. Through its first episode and subsequent ones, Good Night World turns this seemingly harmless and cheerful concept on its head. Also presents an unsettling yet surprisingly emotional portrayal of the clash between fantasy and reality.
Each family member has their reasons for playing the game, and in many ways, its development served as an escape. With systems rooted in trauma, “Planet” compels the family to confront the role it plays in their lives. However, not every family member is willing to let go of it.
Reflection of Reality
While this anime isn’t the sole series using a video game to reflect reality, Good Night World distinguishes itself by capturing various elements of life and connection. Constantly challenging the notion that “it’s just a game,” especially concerning the more violent or dismissive choices made by players. The series compels both the audience and the characters to perceive the game as an extension of life.
The series conveys that using video games as a form of escapism is acceptable, but not when they become the sole solution to every challenge reality presents. These challenges encompass abuse, depression, and even loss. Particularly the tragic incident involving Aya, who lost her life in a cardboard box mishap when Kojiro compelled her to walk to school for her notebook. While Taichiro emphasizes the harshness of the real world. His in-game former friend-turned-opponent, Captain Pico, the leader of the Pirate Guild, highlights its beauty. This complexity within the flawed characters makes them engaging. Rendering the seasonal narrative is thought-provoking and a refreshing addition to the genre.
In the end, Good Night World occasionally loses its way into the intricacies of the story, but its overarching theme contributes positively to the anime genre it belongs to. While the series may struggle with its ambitious goals, its journey is one that can strike a chord with anyone who has turned to games as a means of connecting with others.
The animation skillfully combines different styles to accentuate the vibrant game world and the subdued tone of the real one. Moreover, the stylized representation of characters, both in their attire and reflected in their in-game choices, is impeccably captured. The effective utilization of colour in Good Night World allows for a seamless transition between the lively and action-packed world of Planet. It reflects the mundane reality of the real world.
Staff and Plot
Katsuya Kikuchi is directing Good Night World, featuring character designs by Suzuna Okuyama and animation by studio NAZ. The anime revolves around four members of a profoundly fractured family seeking solace in a VR game called “Planet”. Despite playing individually, they discover connections within the virtual world. forming relationships absent of love or connection in their real lives. The consequences of their choices resonate deeply, impacting each other both within and beyond the confines of the game.
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You can watch Good Night World Anime on Netflix.