It’s not a great sign when an episode of anime finishes and I’m surprised that I enjoyed it. It’s not a bad sign but somehow I feel like enjoyment should be a given and that’s not always the case with Otherside Picnic

What is always enjoyable is discussing it with K. How are you K? Anything exciting going on in life or in the blogosphere? Not that those are mutually exclusive. 

Thanks, you’re too kind. You know, life is going, I like to think well. I mean it will have passed but I hope everyone had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. Which I think lowkey is kind of an underrated holiday. The day of the leprechaun is always a fun time to wear some green and maybe check out your favorite Irish pub. 

Yeah, I don’t know who can complain about getting gifts, balloons and eating cake. Being a year older is also pretty cool, I don’t know maybe my St. Paddy’s day tends to be a little more special but I hope people had a good time regardless. We need more excuses to celebrate things so let’s celebrate this surprising episode of Otherside Picnic.

By the way, there will be spoilers for Otherside Picnic episode 11 and K is in bold because it suits him best. 

This episode was a rollercoaster for me. First, it started off with Kura and Tanucoon and that’s always a good time. Seriously, just having them on the screen makes me happy regardless of whatever else is going on. So I was already a little optimistic for this episode. I figured they would probably just be in the opening act but hey, it’s still better than nothing. Am I right?

Well I like to assume your personality is bold enough that it doesn’t need any assistant with bold text. Certainly agree on the rollercoaster comparison. This was maybe the first time in a couple episodes that I was intrigued to see how they would play their cards. I mean I’ll never complain that there’s too much Kazakura so you’re absolutely right.

Right!

But then Sorawo announced that they were going to rescue the soldiers at Kisaragi station and my hopes went way down. Although I genuinely liked elements and specific scenes of it, the Kisaragi arc (hey it was 2 episodes…) was maybe my least favourite. 

I felt like it just didn’t come together at all and there were way more boring parts than freaky ones. I also didn’t care for the soldier characters. 

But I guess it was inevitable that Sorawo would want to rescue them after how openly she was thrusting for Lieutenant Drake. You have to pronounce his name with a bad southern accent, it’s the only way it works.

Did you like the Kisaragi arc? 

No, not really. I mean it’s a little bit of a let down right, because this all but sealed that there’s going to be no big reveal or plot involving Satsuki. I mean I heard that there was a lot of story left to be told at the end of the season but I feel their endgame foreshadowing is kind of manipulative.

This won’t be the first or last show to either attempt to hold audiences hostage with the more to come teasers or ultimately read the source material ending. However, Satsuki has been foreshadowed in probably half of this season’s episodes. I feel like that’s the point where it’s too much not to have at least somewhat of a resolution or finale to it. Don’t misconstrue me, I think Itachi is a great foreshadowed character so it’s not that they’re pulling the trigger at the end of the season, it’s that it’s so predominant in this season to not be the finale material is a little irksome. 

If you are anyone in the comments can find me an example where an antagonist was teased like a Kingdom Hearts villain without any conflict or confrontation in that season and you loved it…please let me know. As for getting back to Kisaragi, it felt like wasted potential by the end of it. I didn’t feel a great connection with the troops, the paranormal conflict was kind of dull, and the conflict with the soldiers was very rushed.

So I was ready for a bit of a crawl through another episode. I was jumping on every bit of optimism I saw. Like how good Toriko looked in her ponytail and cap! That was good. Or the fun idea of making a white peace flag out of a loaded machine gun that you actually use. Also fun. Shooting out an SOS signal, the silliness is building up here!

And when the soldiers showed up and you know, they immediately gave me some time trickery to occupy my mind. I like time trickery! I started thinking that maybe these were WW2 soldiers or something but their equipment was off. In any case, they’ve probably been in the Otherside for much longer than expected. 

I mean to be honest, if Kazakura wasn’t here I think I would really enjoy Toriko the most. She really is amazing in action and seems to be a good balance of aloof in the face of danger, being more than capable in these paranormal situations, and having an decently interesting dilemma to deal with.However, yes it would have been fun if we had some old timey soldiers, but their weapons and ridiculous supply of ammo is definitely a very modern unit.

So you know, at this point I’m in a good mood and distracted. No complaints. I figure there’s going to be some drawn-out nonsense argument at the camp to manufacture some tension or conflict but nah. Basically, the handsome lieutenant says, they’re good girls, let’s do what they say and everyone else is like, sounds like a plan! Let’s go!  

We can argue on how realistic that is but that seems sort of ridiculous for this show. Instead, let’s just appreciate how not annoying it is to have the story just move forward at a brisk pace sparing us all the hassle! 

I guess in a better written show I might be a little bummed about how smoothly this went. What do you think?

 They set up that they might be hostile because they’re going crazy, and they thought the girls might be a spooky entity themselves. So this episode decided to retcon any bad blood between them was incredible…for all the wrong reasons.

Come on, that’s bad writing. You can find episodic shows that wouldn’t abandon continuity like that. We’ve done a lot of thinking off screen so we’ve changed our opinion on you. Also what’s his name died and I couldn’t tell you who Jeff or whatever his name even was. I don’t know, I was kind of more interested in them being set up to make a random return unexpectedly, so this turn of events is not very spectacular.

The silverlining is kind of as you say, in context of this episode, I’m glad we aren’t unnecessarily dragging it out. That conflict is kind of cliche and stupid anyway so can we get the girls with a whole artillery unit teaming up to take out the Otherside creatures that we felt cheated out of midseason. In terms of what this episode is I’m glad we dropped it quickly to move on to cooler ventures.

One thing I will say, the CG this week was awful. I’m not sure if it was always this bad and for some reason I missed it. The only reason I could explain missing it is temporary blindness. It’s not like this is a gorgeous powerhouse production but man, I think I would have preferred a black screen with the words “VFX moving tank” in the middle instead.

Yes, that is a VelociPastor reference. But I wish I had thought of it myself.

Haha yeah I don’t know, I didn’t notice the tank… I mean not much. I was more wondering how abundant glitches was during the beginning of the series. Obvious it was different areas but the throwing rocks constantly when Sorawo can just see them, but the fact that they drove a tank through the Otherside with no problem. Still drinking the tank was cool so I don’t carry if it looked like a Hot Wheel.

So at this point, I’m still waiting for something to absolutely ruin the episode. I refuse to get my hopes up. But Sorawo guiding the tank with a stick was actually kind of cute and the mossmen attack was way better framed and therefore more interesting and tense this time around. 

So by the time they got to the forest, I almost let my guard down a little. This was an interesting episode. I wanted to know what was going to happen next and I actually cared a little about whether or not the soldiers were going to make it. I guess even I can’t resist Lieutenant Drake.

And that’s when we got this week’s urban legend reference. The Kakandra. I wasn’t familiar with it and it took a bit of digging but I believe I found an English translation of the creepypasta in question right HERE

Now Sorawo clearly says Kakandra (I even have a screencap, see!):

and that creepypasta refers to the Kankandra but I’m almost positive they’re the same thing. They look a lot alike and the name is way too close for it to be a coincidence. 

The story is a bit disjointed but it sure sounds like a nightmare and if I am right what we’re in for is a good old Marilith (which are probably based on something like a Hindu god but I’m not cultured enough to know what). Do you know what Marilliths are based on K, since you play D&D every week? Maybe they’re based on Kankandras…

I know pretty much nothing. Thank you, I was unable to find much because of that “alternative spelling”. I must admit, it was a random surprise but they did a decent job of hyping up this encounter while making it completely out of left field. Sure it was kind of a “but wait there’s more!” kind of ending which sure I mean it was a solid ending to as you said a surprisingly decent episode. I look forward to next week’s conclusion.

I got to say, for the first time in a really long while the end credits snuck up on me and I was slightly disappointed I didn’t get to see what happened next. What did you think of this episode, K?

I mean at the end of the day, anything bad about this episode is failings on the show as a whole. As an episodic adventure of tying up our last loose end, and going into the Otherside one last time to save those troops from before encountering one final spook is all fine and dandy with me. I will admit, that with the constant Satsuki promos it does feel maybe a bit OVA material rather than season finale but it does provide a lot of the goods the show can provide. Well-established tension, hooking into the next episode, toying with expectations, Kazakura and the tanuki much of my positive remarks are very much there.

Sadly, I think this episode proved that there’s probably nothing particularly bringing me back for season 2. Can’t really say I’m in the camp saying it necessarily deserves it with a rather shoddy display throughout this season. 

Honestly, ain’t that the fun of seasonals? Usually I go in with some preconceived expectation due to a show’s reputation. These shows kind of give you the chance to discover your own opinion before it becomes agreeing or disagreeing with the consensus.

I do think there would be something simple that could bring me back for a potential watch of the theoretical season 2. That would be if Irina asked me to join her and see what happens. Though I think technically was me who kind of chose to watch this series so… as a gentleman it would only be fair that if Irina would ever have me doing episodic reviews again… maybe she can choose the next one.

If you do want to have me back, don’t hesitate to ask, this was really fun even if this ain’t my new favorite show. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll be back next week, one last time over at the movies to discuss the finale. Should be fun as always so I hope to see you there!

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4 thoughts

  1. Since this is the last review on Irina’s blog, I want to apologize if I oversold the show by lauding the light novels back in your “What I Plan to Watch in 2021” post. I swear the books are better than this!

    1. K had a rough time but I didn’t hate the series. It was clumsily written which is probably due to a shoddy adaptation but there were elements I liked. I don’t regret having watched it or anything no need for apologies!

  2. I couldn’t even remember what happened this episode until I read your post. I found the episode okay. I’d watch a second season without question. None of the show is bad, and when it’s good I really enjoy it. It’s just kind of dull from time to time and treading water a lot. I was hoping for a better show, but I’m not that disappointed (a little only); it’s still fun to watch.

    Also, I’m I imagining things or didn’t they actually lose the hat on the beach or something? I’m not quite sure. Probably not, since they still have it. Or did they actually raid the wardrobe?

    1. I hope they raided the wardrobe and we get to see Toriko is a gigantic white dress next episode!

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