People all over the world are searching for a valuable treasure left by the legendary Eleline the Brave Hero, the Encore. One person included in the race to find the artifact, is a boy named Ren who wants to become a knight to join an adventuring party. Unfortunately, despite having the same appearance as Eleline the Brave Hero, Ren has no talent wielding swords or casting spells, living a lifestyle of mockery by his fellow classmates.
On a certain day, the legendary Dragon Princess Kyelse who saved the world 300 years ago woke from her seal and sets out to find Eleline, but ends up mistaking Ren for him. Although disappointed, she notices the potential within Ren and invites him to go a journey with her, along with the Archangel Fear and the Demon Lord Elise, to find the Encore.
Sekai no Owari no Encore or Encore of the World’s End is a fantasy adventure tale about how a boy joined up with the previous heroes from the last war to find the Encore. The light novel doesn’t have anything particularly special like unique battle dialogue, detailed world building, or over-the-top characters. However in its absence, we have down-to-earth individuals and a very simple and well paced tale about how one boy dreams to go on an adventure.
Our main character Ren isn’t very special in terms of talent or skill. He isn’t extraordinary at swordplay or using spells. He’s just a regular student and yet he gets shunned mainly because he resembles the legendary Brave Hero, Eleline. Ren doesn’t have a problem at all, but because his skills are often being compared to the Brave Hero, he gets rated low by the academy. And due to Ren failing the promotion test in a battle with the strongest swordsman in his grade, he’s been pulled back a year and stuck with the title of “Fake Brave Hero”
The failing procedure of the promotion test was organized to have you experience such cruel reality.
But what Ren does have is good work ethic, and this makes him a very relatable character. He goes through moments of self-reflection, recognizing his inability to others but using that as motivation to become stronger for himself and his other party members. It’s a breath of fresh air from this type of genre, as I ended up rooting for Ren, in comparison to main characters that I would know end up winning regardless of what happened.
As for the girls themselves, there isn’t much implication of a harem taking a big portion in the story so far as their feelings towards Ren are more of admiration and respect. They recognize his ability and potential and they are interested in him because of that. There is a happy relation between the party members that make them seem like close friends and mentors rather than love interests (with the exception of one girl). While the supporting girls may be individuals of the extraordinary, their actions and motives are more humble. In comparison to the background characters using the Encore to promote themselves, the girls see the Encore as a memoir of their adventures with Eleline.
The writing isn’t anything special as it sticks to a rather straightforward third-person narrative style most of the time. However, there are small parts where Ren monologues and it gives us a look into his mental state. These are the more emotional parts of the volume when they are stringed together as Ren goes through self-reflection.
Haruaki Fuyuno was the illustrator for this series and he uses a variety of blurred artwork in his color illustrations while using detailed linework for the regular drawings. The work on the color pages look very appealing and eye-catching in terms of the color palette.
Sekai no Owari no Encore’s first volume deals with the themes of acknowledgement and the determination to fight against people stronger than you. It’s not that I wouldn’t recommend this light novel, but it comes down to is whether the simplicity of the adventure tale and the characters makes up for the lack of distinction from the genre.
At the time of this review, only the first volume has only been fan-translated on Baka-Tsuki and this series needs more content to back up the first volume up. So if you are fine with the conditions said, then go right ahead if you feel inclined.
Rating: Average – Recommended
Afterword: I wish there was more volumes of this series. I would like to see where it goes, but I’m in no rush…(HINT HINT, SOMEONE CONTINUE TRANSLATING THIS)