Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Bibliophiles need to take a page from Masumi’s book about how to spend their last days on earth – go to the library and read your favourite novels. But when the world is ending, even dying plans don’t necessarily fall in place.

Adapted from the manga of the same name, “Bokura no Micro na Shuumatsu” (known in English as “End of the World with You”), this 10-episode series has been directed by Miki Koichiro. The story follows two estranged ex-lovers who go on a trip to help a young boy meet his family as a large meteor is headed directly towards earth and is expected to wipe out humanity in 10 days.

Seto Toshiki of “Kamen Rider” fame, plays the protagonist Nishina Masumi, a sensitive, asocial working-class man who heads to his university’s library to immerse himself in literature during the last week of his life.” But in a shocking surprise, he meets his ex-boyfriend Ritsu (Nakata Keisuke) at the library, who had ripped his heart into pieces when they were university students. What starts off as an awkward painful re-union, morphs into a random trip where the two try to live the few days they have left without remorse.

Seto was last seen in a lead role in “Senpai, Danjite Koidewa!”, a bland romantic comedy where he played an unimpressive blonde-haired boy who falls for his senior. Thankfully, the creators allowed him to keep a regular black mane in this series, which is in sync with his shy personality; he delivers a memorable performance as the fragile Masumi, who is still hurting from the heartache of an almost decade-old break-up. “Bokura no Micro na Shuumatsu” was surprisingly sensual, sentimental, and stirring, despite having a distinctly grey lead in Ritsu. Nakata Keisuke as the callous-cool bisexual Ritsu comes across as untrustworthy throughout the series and it’s hard to like him. However, his character is written like that – Ritsu is selfish, materialistic and picks up the courage to make amends too late.

I really liked the cinematography and camera work of this show, there’s a balanced blend of both outdoor, indoor scenes and the makers don’t overdo the dystopian elements of the ‘end of the world’ theme. The background score was a mixed bag, sometimes the music was apt and nostalgic, other times it didn’t really fit well with the scenes.

The LGBTQ+ representation in the series was done well, Idegami Baki who identifies as gender-fluid plays Madoka, a popular girl idol and her look-alike younger brother Meguru. Despite the smaller supporting role, Idegami Baki is memorable in their portrayal of two siblings who live different lives. Tomimoto Sousyo ranged between endearing and annoying as the hyper-active Hirose Yuma, a teen Otaku who gets riled up with emotions over the smallest of things. Overall, “End of the World With You” was an interesting show that tries to cover more themes than it can handle.

It’s a 7 on 10 from me.

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