Before I started my weekly anime rituals for this blog, I would often find myself just scanning through Crunchyroll’s library for a new anime to watch, seeing if I found anything conceptually that grabbed my attention. During one of these fateful nights, I came across the synopsis for the show Outbreak Company:
“Shinichi’s mission is to bring “otaku culture” to this new world in order to facilitate effective commerce between the two worlds. As an expert in anime, light novels, manga, and dating sims, Shinichi is revered and admired in the new world, and an unexpectedly fulfilling real life awaits him!”
Wait, what?! A young man whose experience is in anime, manga, visual novels, all that jazz…and he’s the one to bridge the gap between our world and a fantasy world? Yeah, I’m definitely interested in seeing where this one goes!
And I wasn’t disappointed…
The concept is exactly as it’s told. Shinichi, a young otaku male finds himself being pulled out of his little bubble by the government and military to become essentially an ambassador for the entire world and to introduce the world to their culture…which is apparently all about anime, manga, etc. The concept is as ridiculous as it sounds, the majority of the anime is him literally teaching kids and adults about the wonders of shonen, moe, harems and in Minori’s case, teaching all the girls the perfection and beauty that is BL or Boy Love. It’s pure entertainment watching elves, dwarves and other folks in the fantasy world stare at a cute loli magical girl like it’s a fucking history textbook!
Some would classify the show as a harem due to the four major female characters that are around Shinichi constantly, but I don’t quite agree with that moniker due to the simple fact the usual clichés of harem anime aren’t as prevalent, there aren’t tons of walk-in while girls are changing sequences and while there is a swimsuit episode, there isn’t a whole lot of shower scenes, panty shots, breast grabbing or any others of the usual things you’ll find in harem anime. While it’s implied that Shinichi and Myucel have a sort of connection together, the other girls aren’t exactly going after him romantically, I feel they just want his attention because he’s become such a revered and polarizing figure in that world.
In terms of the characters, it’s relatively standard for a show that features five main characters, only one of them male. Shinichi is your typical MC, just there to soak in everything and allow everything to happen as it may. Minori’s your stereotypical tough girl from the military who happens to be super hot, has giant breasts and has a secret soft side, as well as a major addiction to yaoi. Myucel is the elegant, pretty, soft-spoken elf girl who isn’t very forward and blushes 99% of the time. Petralka is the tiny bratty Princess who demands to be treated more important than everyone else. And Elbia is the free-spirited dog girl who ends up being a major ice breaker constantly throughout the show. She’s also the one with the tendency to not wear pants often.
In terms of the story, there isn’t much of one beyond the tiny twist towards the end that you’d have to be completely not paying attention to not figure out. The show spends the majority of its time revelling in the absurdity that is a bunch of fantasy race men and women being taught not through traditional means, but through anime and manga. It’s meant to be pure comedy and doesn’t hide it one bit. You’re watching this for two things: to smile and to look at pretty boys and girls, nothing more.
Outbreak Company like a lot of shows I watch is not meant to be one taken seriously. There’s not a crazy involving story, there aren’t huge character arcs, hell there isn’t even much in terms of action sequences. It’s pretty much just a plop yourself on the couch smile-fest that has pretty girls and sometimes pretty boys for you to stare at.
And when it comes to anime, can we really ask for much more than that? I kind of prefer shows that aren’t super demanding of my attention. I want something I can mindlessly watch and not be required to remember a ton of information. And Outbreak Company does that for me.
Now I just wait and hope a world like this opens up. I’ll happily be a Canadian representative! Send the elf girls my way! =D