Former shut-in, Shinichi completed an online test to see how much of an otaku he was. When he was done, he’d been selected for a job that utilised his skills and before he knows it, he’s been drugged and taken to a fantasy world!
What did you watch?
For my A to Z Anime Challenge, I selected Outbreak Company completely at random. I’m not sure exactly what drew me to it, but I am a big fan of Isekai and fantasy stories. That said, this series falls somewhere in the middle as it’s not really an Isekai as the protagonist, Shinichi doesn’t die or assume a new form. He’s still him but in a fantasy world. On top of that, it’s possible to go back to his homeworld. On reflection, it is definitely not an Isekai, but it does have an interesting premise and deals with some real issues. All right, it’s time to dive into the review, and as always, there will be spoilers.
Shinichi had been a hikikomori, but now he’s on the mend and looking for a job. After struggling to find anything he’s suited to, he stumbles across one that asks him to complete a questionnaire that will rate his otaku skills… Shinichi aces the test and is invited to come in and meet an interviewer. At the interview, he discovers that he has got the job and gleefully accepts. They celebrate with a drink and Shinichi promptly passes out.
When he wakes, Shinichi finds himself in a strange bed, in a strange room, with a strange girl staring at him. It’s all very strange, but nothing is quite as strange as the girl’s ears. They’re long and pointy… like an elf… Shinichi is then briefed by the interviewer who reveals that they are in another world where magic exists and that there is a portal that connects it to Japan. It’s all pretty staggering, but then Shinichi learns what his job is. He is a cultural ambassador from Japan with the goal of spreading otaku culture to this new world!
What did you think?
I actually really enjoyed Outbreak Company. I knew nothing of it going in and that’s often how I like to approach shows. It helps to stop me from having unrealistic expectations and then being disappointed when it doesn’t live up. This series was definitely fairly easy-going and something that could be watched while chilling out. That said, it does deal with some topics that I am interested in such as nobility and race. It does this with elves, dwarves, and other humanoid races, but it’s fairly clear what it’s showing us. I loved how Shinichi was able to change the standing of people and brought about equality through anime, manga, and gaming.
What was your favourite moment?
There were several fun moments, although it is hard to pick one that really stands out, so I’m going to take the easy route and call on the swimsuits episode. Shinichi’s bodyguard, Minori was required to take some of her vacation time. Well, Shinichi, being the mega otaku that he is, quickly comes up with a plan to take the girls to a beach so that they can relax and realise his dream of being in a swimsuit episode. The beach is lovely and the girls all look good, but then there is someone spying on them and that’s not the best idea when Minori is involved.
So, we ended up with a swimsuit episode and some cool fights. Well, that’s not all. In the background, the Empress has given the wisest men in the kingdom the task of selecting a swimsuit for her and the process is hilarious, especially when they end up with a high school issue one piece!
What was your least favourite moment?
It was obviously done intentionally to highlight the state of affairs when Shinichi arrived in the Eldant Empire, but I still can’t stand nobility and class systems. Thankfully, that helped me enjoy the series as it was slowly dismantled and a fairer system evolved. Poor Myucel seemed to be at the centre of most of it as she was an elf and it showed how young elves were used as warriors due to their magic potential. Then, she had to suffer under the class views of Petralka, the Empress who initially viewed her as beneath her. This obviously caused problems for Shinichi in the beginning.
Who was your favourite character?
There was a lot of fun characters in this series and it is hard to choose just one, but I’m going to pick Minori. She was the bodyguard assigned to Shinichi and she was tough as nails. At first, she was fairly hard and played everything by the books. She was aware of the true nature of Shinichi’s position and found it harder and harder to keep quiet about it. Then, when Shinichi did find out and went about opposing the views of the Japanese government, she came to his rescue, stopping the assassination squad. Her obsession with Boy-Love material was also hilarious as she tried to get a class added to the schedule for the locals.
Who was your least favourite character?
From the first moment we meet Petralka, it shows you exactly what you’re getting and it’s one of my least favourite types of anime character. She’s a little girl who is incredibly entitled and shrill… so shrill. For the next few episodes, she continues this approach, ordering Shinichi around and stopping Myucel from learning Japanese without her being present. She is the Empress and as such is a pampered spoilt brat. Thankfully, this was another chance to grow the character and while she was still annoying at the end, she did have many redeeming moments. Her growing friendship with Myucel was great and really peaked in the soccer match.
Would you like some more?
At present, there is no news about a second season and if it never comes I wouldn’t be that bothered. If a second season is released, however, I will definitely watch it. As I said, it was an enjoyable easy watch and I’m a sucker for fantasy, ecchi, harem style shows. The ecchi level is fairly low so it shouldn’t bother too many people, but it is there. It had a sort of charm to it that I think just leaves you feeling happy. Obviously, there is the otaku stuff which hits home to those of us blogging about these sorts of things.
What have you learnt?
I loved the idea of using something so seemingly harmless as a means to invade somewhere. That said, it’s not completely crazy either. You could argue that Hollywood has spread the English language with movies and TV shows. Maybe Japan is doing it right now with anime and manga? There are definitely different applications for everything if used in a calculated manner. You only have to look at the influence of social media and the damage it’s doing to critical thinking. I can see a lot of fairly dark ideas coming from this train of thought and it could create some fairly engaging stories.
Other Posts in the Series
- A to Z Anime Challenge
- Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero
- Blood-C / Blood-C: The Last Dark
- Cat Planet Cuties
- Dragonar Academy
- El Cazador de la Bruja
- Freezing / Freezing Vibrations
- Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions
- Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
- Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon?
- Jormungand / Jormungand: Perfect Order
- Knight’s & Magic
- Lord Marksman and Vanadis
- My First Girlfriend is a Gal
- No Game No Life
- Outbreak Company
- Punch Line