It’ll be interesting to explore Joshua and Neku’s dynamic, especially now that the frenetic pace of the first week of the games has slowed down a bit. I’m still wary about the pacing for the next few episodes, but hopefully this episode is an indication that TWEWY the Animation has found its legs. I actually really like Neku’s character development. It feels authentic, especially in the wake of Shiki fading away and being used as leverage against him in the previous episodes. It’s clear that the boy we initially met is gone. Now, we’re dealing with a Neku who’s got more heart than jerkitude, which makes for a solid, enjoyable protagonist to follow from here on out.
In a way, TWEWY the Animation is one of the most interesting advertisements for a video game franchise to date. It’s beautiful, stylish as heck, and features really great voice acting, but it’s hard not to shout, “Go play the game then watch this!” so that viewers have some context about what is all happening in these first few episodes. However, rather than pushing the source material onto you, I’ll suggest that you just come along for the ride, and if you like what you see, pick up the game later—either on the DS or the Switch—to fill in the gaps that the anime either don’t or won’t have time to fill. I think there are still enough in-world lore and general world-building in these episodes to keep viewers engaged.
There’s a frenetic pace to episodes 1 and 2, which kind of fits the source material. Of course, the perk of the game is the simple fact that you spend more time with Neku, Shiki, Beat, and Rhyme, and get to explore Shibuya’s every nook and cranny. As a fan, I find the episodes perfectly understandable. After all, I spent years of loving the franchise. I’m working with loads of secrets and plotty tidbits from later in the game. I know—or at least, assume I know—how most things will go. I’m along for the ride, simply because seeing TWEWY animated feels wicked in the best of ways.
Dimeo’s Jukebox combines with modern music with chiptune and retro Gameboy aesthetics into a brand new Gameboy game filled with music.