This world won’t make me bad, review of the first episodes: a strong and political comeback for Zerocalcare

The review of the first episodes of This world won’t make me bad, the new animated series signed by Zerocalcare and created by Movimenti Production in collaboration with Bao Publishing, with a stronger and more political message than the previous one. On Netflix from June 9, 2023.

This world won't make me bad, review of the first episodes: a strong and political comeback for Zerocalcare

We admire Zero limestone forever. We adored him for years for his comic stories, we promoted him widely and surprisingly at his debut in a animated series for Netflixafter the experiments of Rebibbia Quarantine. We can therefore also admire the optimism, so heralded and explicit in the title of his new work This world won’t make me badof which we are going to write the review of the first episodes: unlike Michele Rech, real name of the Roman artist, we are not so sure of not giving in to the dark side of goodness, marked and disappointed by a world that tries hard to make us bad.

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This World Won’t Make Me Bad: A Scene

However, if there is one thing that keeps our morale up, it is precisely this obsessively repeated mantra and the work of Zerocalcare, on paper and on the screen: fun, profound and coherent with itself, whether it is in a format or in the other. His hand is strong and present in This world won’t make me bad as it was a year and a half ago in Tear along the edges. With one substantial difference: the message, while remaining important and significant on a social level, veers significantly towards the political, confirming the attitude of the character not to back down and to carry on his own ideas with decision, coherence and lucidity. Which in this precise historical moment is even more important.

Finding one’s place in the plot of This World won’t make me evil

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This World Won’t Make Me Bad: A Picture from the Series

The story that Zerocalcare tells in This world won’t make me bad it starts from a return, from an old friend who is back in the neighborhood after years of absence. The protagonist of the story, who as usual embodies the author’s spirit and ideas, would like to do something for Cesare, this is the boy’s name, but his efforts must collide with the awareness of not being able to help him and find the own place in that world that he struggles to recognize. A context in turmoil also due to an evolving socio-political dilemmas, which revolve around the presence of a small group of immigrants gathered in a reception center that part of the population would like to be moved elsewhere.

Zerocalcare on the Netflix series Tearing along the edges: “Mastandrea is my Armadillo in life too”

The thousand voices of Zerocalcare

As had been to Tear along the edges, even for This world won’t make me bad it is the author himself who gives voice to (almost) all the characters who embody himself and the other figures in his life who had already animated his stories and comics. It is he who puts his face (and voice) into it, enters the story, makes it about him. It characterizes not only the characters but the work as a whole, net of the equally strong and sincere presence of Valerio Mastandrea who confirms that he is a perfect Armadillo, or rather the conscience of Zerocalcare himself, to whom we owe maxims of life that we have already done our.

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This world won’t make me bad: a scene from the Zerocalcare series

He returns to dubbing, therefore, despite the controversies that had accompanied him regarding the Romanesque diction and cadence. Michele Rech he does not ignore them, but demonstrates that he has digested them with his innate class, making them part of the story, winking on a couple of occasions, making them the object of one of the most natural and successful gags. In short, with her thousand voices, she confirms that she is one of the most interesting voices on the Italian art sceneregardless of the medium in which his creative vein takes shape.

The difficulty of keeping up

This narrative completeness is placed at the service of a story that moves on a different level from the previous one, but follows the same solidity in the construction in the story. This world won’t make me bad, net of four out of six episodes viewed, is less overwhelming than Tear along the edges in terms of pure fun: there is no lack of laughter, still satisfied and full-bodied, but the focus of the story is immediately on different tones that I allow the author to develop important and current issues.

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This World Won’t Make Me Evil: A scene from the animated series

The socio-political context in which we are moving with difficulty is the protagonist, but themes that slip more on the intimate level of the characters are explored, such as the difficulty of finding one’s place in the world, of keeping up, of feeling at ease with your choices and your life journey. Themes evidently dear to Zerocalcare, which the author manages to convey to his audience by embodying them in the stories of the characters that the episodes of the series allow us to follow with participation.

Tearing along the edges and its makers: “We have given shape to the audiovisual universe of Zerocalcare”

The excellence of animation

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This World Won’t Make Me Bad: A moment from the series

Writing excellence that finds its rightful and deserved reflection in an equally excellent technical achievement. Movements Production has performed another small miracle in translating the richness of the Roman author’s explosive writing, creating sequences full of details and visual gimmicks capable of rendering Michele Rech’s visual intuitions into images. We’re not just talking about the thoroughness in the character design and the animation of the characters, which makes every nuance of characters with a simple stroke expressive, but about the fluidity with which the scene transforms to follow the evolutions and digressions of the artist’s prose. The symbiosis between text and animations is such that it would be hard to imagine a different and less imaginative rendering for the next works by Zerocalcare. But, after all, why should we?


Only one regret accompanies us at the end of the review of the first episodes of This world won’t make me bad: not having yet been able to see the last two episodes that close the new Zerocalcare series and a story built with lucidity and coherence, both from the point of view narrative and thematic. Michele Rech once again puts his face on it and says things about our world that few have the strength to tell. A round of applause for him, for his self-irony in joking even about his own accent and the other catchphrases that accompany it, but without forgetting to praise all the artists of Movimenti Production who have made this all-Italian miracle possible once again. Like Tear Along the Edges, This World Won’t Make Me Bad is an excellence that will be talked about “in 190 countries” and that will make us proud around the world.

Because we like it

  • A more political story than the previous one, suitable for the moment in which we find ourselves.
  • The many voices of Zerocalcare, the perfect one of Valerio Mastandrea and a few surprises to make all the characters that animate the story.
  • The technical sector set up by Movimenti Production: splendid, solid, creative, pyrotechnic.
  • The courage, lucidity and coherence to carry on one’s own themes. Without backing down and despite everything…

What’s wrong

  • … which will make those who think differently turn up their noses.

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