Watch or Drop? Rules
Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.
- The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
- I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
There’s a definite excitement about going into something and having no clue what to expect. I had no knowledge of the source here and largely managed to avoid reading any posts about Otherside Picnic prior to doing my three episode run. Which is weird considering after I watched it I realised that lots of bloggers have been talking about this anime and I’ve just somehow avoided any mention of it.
That said, these early episodes kind of give you a feeling that the smart thing for these characters to do would be to stop crossing into the otherworld and leave things well enough alone given if they did they’d be perfectly safe and the story would essentially screech to a halt. While they’ve made some effort to give Toriko a plausible reason for not taking the safe path, the same can’t be said for Sorao and so I’m left largely just questioning her basic decision making skills.
Outside of that, I’m fascinated. The Otherside is both bleak and yet beautiful; feels empty and yet is filled with dangers and perils. I want to see more of it even while I want the characters to stop putting themselves at risk for very little reward. They have at least set up a potential plot point where someone (who may or may not have been crazy) suggested that creatures from the Otherside were already on Earth so maybe walking away isn’t actually an option going forward. There aren’t a lot of answers in the first three episodes but there’s definitely some potential for interesting exploration.
I absolutely have to praise the music here. Both the opening theme, Minikui Ikimono by CHiCO, and the ending, You and Me by Miki Satou, are absolutely brilliant and very much frame the viewing experience and set the tone. Sound and music are also used really well within the episodes even if most of the time it is creeping you out or helping you experience the franticness of a particular situation.
There was something very final about the sound the glitches make when the turn rocks into ash and between the sound effect and the stunned expressions of the characters they manage to drive home the danger of walking unknowingly into a glitch without extended exposition.
Outside of the sound, the chemistry between Sorao and Toriko, while at first a little rocky, has found firm footing over the first three episodes. As the two have gotten used to working together and started to establish a fairly good rhythm in their interactions. Sorao’s more reserved and cautious personality makes a good comparison to Toriko’s more easy-going and adventurous spirit.
That said, there are definite questions about Sorao’s motivations going forward and why she knows about some of the things in the Otherside and why she ventured there at all, let alone allowed Toriko to talk her into going back. Still, the two are a bit of a joy to watch as their relationship is developing nicely in these early episodes and it will be fun to see how these unfold.
I also have to give absolute credit to the atmosphere of the Otherside as it feels like a real world that has opened up to explore. While some of the rules and why it even exists have yet to be established, it is just a fascinating setting and again contrasts nicely with the scenes that are set in the ‘real’ world. Definitely has me wanting to know more.
So far other than a few eyebrow raising decisions made by the main characters as well as a general incredulousness that anyone would name something a wiggle-waggle, I’m mostly not finding much negative here. There is, of course, the standard concern when an anime is setting itself up as mysterious and that is that we’ll either never get to a resolution because the anime won’t cover the whole story and won’t continue past a first season OR we’ll get an answer and it just won’t be worth the build up. Still, that’s a risk with any mystery story so hardly unique here.
I think my main gripe would be the fairly nebulous character motivations presented. Toriko claims she’s looking for someone but doesn’t really have a plan and doesn’t appear to have a real sense of urgency about it. Meanwhile, Sorao’s motives are really unclear. This may not be a negative in the long-run but it kind of makes me wonder why she is putting herself into a world that has already nearly killed her multiple times.
Curiosity is definitely a powerful motivator and by and large I really enjoyed these first three episodes. The characters are fun to watch together, the setting is interesting, and hopefully the mystery will pan out as the series continues. For now though, this one is definitely on the watch list.
- From Rory – Episode 1 with some comparison to the source.
- From Kila Panaretou – Otherside Picnic Episode 1
- From Cactus Matt – Episode 1 Review
- From braverade – Otherside Picnic First Impressions
Images from: Otherside Picnic. Dir. T Satou. LIENFILMS. 2021.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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