Outbreak Company (Feel) – Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Episode 01 – “Awakening in the Other Realm”
A man gets sent to a foreign land to establish cultural ties with the natives there. This is a plot that’s seen in anime and movies for a long time, but Outbreak Company adds an original and comedic spin on this old tradition. The story centers around Shinichi Kanou (CV: Natsuki Hanae), a master otaku who’s contracted as a missionary to spread Japan’s otaku culture across a recently discovered fantasy world that’s connected to Japan via a wormhole. If that sounds absolutely ridiculous, that’s because it is.
But! It’s exactly for this reason that Outbreak Company makes for a surprisingly enjoyable watch. It’s got a pleasant fantasy atmosphere, it doesn’t take itself that seriously at all, and has character archetypes that’ll excite any seasoned otaku. The funny part is that, in this way, Shinichi acts as both the main character and the viewer, since he’s experiencing everything for the first time as well. His reactions parody what stereotypical otaku would do in real life. I mean look at that perfect TMNT cosplay!
For example, he pretty much goes nuts over every female character he meets. We have the busty Minori Kuganuma (CV: Maaya Uchida, as Rikka from Chuunibyou) who acts as Shinichi’s colleague on his missionary expedition, and the shy half-elf maid Myuseru Foaran (CV: Suzuko Mimori). Sure, he might seem like single-minded, typical teenage guy, but there are actually some nice moments to be had, especially with Myuseru, like when he introduces her to technology or teaches her hiragana. It really feels like a colonist’s story for a modern age.
The last character we’re introduced to is Petrarca Ann Erudanto III (CV: Mai Fuchigami), a loli-type princess and ruler of the kingdom. Luckily, or maybe unfortunately, Shinichi also has a thing for lolis, and the princess is self-conscious about her size. I’m sure this will help them get along much more quickly and facilitate political discussion.
In terms of the animation, I can’t say that I’m huge fan. The overall quality and character designs feel very average at best. I do enjoy the fantasy atmosphere though, and the BGM suits it very well. The music feels like it’s straight out of a fantasy JRPG, except for maybe that one track that sounds like a guy’s grunting…
The comedy is all well and fine, but I’m wondering if this series will dip into anything series. Since the premise is built upon building a relation with a completely foreign nation with different races of people, I feel like there’s a lot to work with in that department. Even in the first episode, we see hints of the racism like when Myuseru is ashamed to let Shinichi know that she’s a half-elf. If it does get serious, I hope it’s not in the typical shounen fashion where the protagonist’s presence alone is what apparently makes all the difference to dissolve all conflict. But with a comedy like this, it’s hard to devote to one side without shortselling the other.
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