Otherside Picnic (Season One)

Otherside Picnic Title

A strange world exists behind ours. It’s home to weird creatures that seem to be the source of most urban legends. While searching this foreign landscape, Sorawo met Toriko and both their lives are changed forever!

What did you watch?

Before each season starts, I tend to have a quick look at the new shows and make a list of ones that I would like to get to. Some I put aside as potential shows to review. It’s usually dependent on whether the genre is something that I intend to write in or one of my personal favourites. Otherside Picnic ticked all of the boxes for me and made me decide to move it straight to the review pile even without seeing a single episode. Sometimes you just know, and sometimes you get lucky. This was one of those times…

Otherside Picnic Episode 2 Sorawo Kamikoshi and Toriko Nishina

What happened?

Sorawo was exploring the Otherside when she encountered a creature known as a wiggle-waggle. If you look into its eye it tries to drive you crazy. Unfortunately for Sorawo, she looked and now she’s struggling to hold her head above water literally. Just as she’s about to give up on life she hears a voice and then a girl appears pulling her out of the marsh. She introduces herself as Toriko and asks what’s going on.

Sorawo tries to warn her about the wiggle-waggle but Toriko has a peek anyhow. It gets into her head and causes her to stumble. Sorawo steps up again and takes its focus, saving her new friend. But at what cost? She can feel it burning into her mind and then Toriko throws something at the wiggle-waggle and it evaporates into the air. A strange cubic mirror sits on the ground where it had been and Toriko knows someone that will pay good money for it. If only there was a way they could get more!

Otherside Picnic Episode 1 Sorawo Kamikoshi and Toriko Nishina fighting the Wiggle-Waggle

What did you think?

I loved this series. The idea of it ticked all the boxes to get it to the review level after seeing the promo image and the series was just as successful. I enjoyed hanging out with Sorawo and Toriko, although the star of the show was the Otherside and just how brilliantly weird and wonderful it was. The direction helped as it provided lots of awkward camera angles that helped to further develop the uncomfortable feeling. Then, the soundtrack took things to another level and ensured that I got goosebumps at all the appropriate moments. There were some issues but I’ll get to those in a moment.

Otherside Picnic Episode 1 Sorao Kamikoshi and Toriko Nishina on the Otherside

What was your favourite moment?

For the first few episodes, there appeared to be rules on how to get to the Otherside and while they were possible to follow, they were fairly convoluted which ensured that people weren’t disappearing the Otherside all the time. However, after dinner with Kozakura, Toriko and Sorawo were walking home when they suddenly found themselves in the Otherside and at night. Within seconds they were being chased by various strange creatures.

Luckily, they ran into a group of American marines who had become stranded in the Otherside. They offered to help them, but were dubious of other people in this place, especially after everything they had been through. This episode was so brilliantly creepy that I get chills just thinking about it again. It also became the start of a longer arc within the series. This was just one of the many highlights in the show for me.

Otherside Picnic Episode 6 Sorawo Kamikoshi and Toriko Nishina jump for the train

What was your least favourite moment?

There’s a number of continuity issues thanks to the anime doing the episodes in a different order to the source material. Now, that would be fine if they took the time to make sure it all still fit together, but there was a scene where Sorawo and Toriko had their guns at the beach after the last episode went out of the way to point out that they didn’t have their guns.

The biggest offence however was the way the Lady Hasshaku’s hat played into things. It became a key part of the story as they used it to return to the American soldiers trapped on the Otherside, but only a couple of episodes earlier the hat had been destroyed when they used it to escape from the Otherside. They even commented about how they could have sold it to Kozakura, who in later episodes said that she would pay them whatever they wanted for it. It was a bit of a mess.

Otherside Picnic Episode 11 Sorao Kamikoshi puts on Lady Hasshaku's Hat

Who was your favourite character?

It’s honestly really hard to pick between Sorawo and Toriko, especially as they were so good together. The story was from Sorawo’s point of view, but Toriko was essential to her development and growth as a character. I’m not going to do it. I like them both.

Otherside Picnic Episode 7 Sorao Kamikoshi and Toriko Nishina at the Otherside Beach resort

Who was your least favourite character?

This will probably be controversial, but I really didn’t care for the ninja cats. When they were just cats, they were brilliantly creepy. However, when they passed into the cat world and were attacked by cats in humanoid form dressed as ninjas it felt a bit daft. It was probably the only time in the entire series where I felt the design was a bit off. I’m sure they will appeal to others though. They just weren’t creepy enough for me.

Otherside Picnic Episode 8 Sorao Kamikoshi attacked by ninja cat

Would you like some more?

I would absolutely love some more. One of the things with this series was that it raised a lot of questions, far more than it answered and as such, I need to find out so much more. I’ve already started reading the light novels and look forward to reading the scenes in the order they were meant to be delivered. This series was excellent and I am glad that I didn’t have to wait a week between episodes.

Otherside Picnic Episode 10 Sorao Toriko Kozakura and Akari Scared

What have you learnt?

There were a lot of things that I want to take away from this series and I’m excited to see how they compare to the written word in the light novels. Can the atmosphere be recreated without the odd camera angles and haunting music? I hope so.

The other thing that I really enjoyed was the relationship between Toriko and Sorawo. They both started out as very different characters and we saw them bond and change one another. The biggest crime with this season was that they didn’t kiss at the end. Maybe it wasn’t the right time, but they are certainly meant to be together.

I like my stories with a little romance in them. For me, it’s best when it exists as an element within a story. It shows how characters change and how their views and opinions shift. Best of all it gives the story extra intensity, especially when one is in danger. This series showed that it can be done without necessarily going into the more romantic elements. It focused on their developing friendship. How it progresses from there, we’ll have to wait and see!

Otherside Picnic Episode 12 Sorawo Kamikoshi and Toriko Nishina reflecting

Other Posts in the Series

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