Who was phone? Who do we have here? Why of course it’s the great Irina who joins me yet again for another Otherside Picnic. My cold opens are no Clive Barker, but I hope you’ll find some amusement in that quick horror story. Hope you are doing well, do you have any favorite 2 sentence horror stories or anything new you’d like to share before jumping into the episode?
Let’s see… She gave him a look and he understood right away. He got up to pay but when he slid his hand into his pocket to grab his wallet, he found it completely empty. I think that’s the best I can do with only two sentences. The second one might be a run-on. Not sure if that’s cheating.
Welcome to February
You’re welcome. I don’t know, but there was something just so satisfying about the station February episodes being the two episodes at the beginning of February. That said we finally reached the station, and it was interesting. I would say we got a better understanding of how these soldiers have been surviving in the Otherside, rationing food and enduring casualties in the process.
Though any affirmations about their survival effort is sort of dashed by later in the episode when we see how ineffective and useless they are in a paranormal encounter. They are certainly an intriguing bunch of rough and ready men. What did you get out of this deeper exploration of the troops?
I’m not as deep as K is you guys. I mostly thought that the main soldier guy has amazing hair. Like suspiciously amazing. Just one singular wave stilled into an ‘80s swoop bang with slightly curled ends. It must take him at the very least 45 minutes each morning to get that done. And that’s thievery minimum.
You know what they say about war. Its eternities of deep boredom punctuated by flashes of abject terror. And this guy learned how to style his hair between ghost attacks!
I have a feeling my insights are a letdown. It amused me a lot though!
Your Phone is Ringing?
7 Days….It’s been 7 days since we got to talk about paranormal spooky stuff so let’s do that. Whether it’s the opening of Scream or real life mysteries like Suzie’s Dying the idea of something unexpected on the other line has been a terrifying thought. I mean I get it, I think “I’m a 911 Operator” is one of my favorite Creepypasta tales.
The girls despite being advised not to, decide to try and call Kazakura and let’s just say it’s not your average phone call. From hearing people who aren’t there to strange changes of tone the phone call is a very tense scene. I think throughout the episode we see a slight lean into the show’s horror themes and I think that’s starting to prove to be this show at its best.
I gotta say, the entire phone sequence was genuinely scary. At least I thought so. When the voice started breaking and repeating, I had honest to goodness goosebumps. It was a well-paced and executed little touch of horror and possibly the tensest sequence we have had so far.
Just before the attack starts, when the girls are still in the tent, there’s this flash of light of some sort and you can see all the silhouettes of the soldiers scrambling outside. It’s a great image. The framing is wonderful and the use of light makes it very visually striking. Unfortunately, as the season progresses, I find the art is less and less consistent. And in that scene, both Toriko and Sorao looked way off. Like knock-off versions of themselves. And that really put a damper on what would have otherwise been a brilliant little bit of production.
What about you Irina? Any spooky fun call stories, myths, or urban legends. Maybe a creepy caller that you had yourself? Please share your thoughts on this scene. Did it have you on the edge or your sit or waiting to move on to something else?
I’m not sure whether you know this about me but I am an utter coward. I am terrified of horror stories but still watch them out of curiosity then have to sleep with the lights on for at least a week and annoy everyone around me.
So I’m not going to remind myself of past creepy callers because I do have work in the morning.
This said I think this was probably the best scene of the episode. Maybe second best.
Ready, Aim, Fire!
So, the main conflict of the episode is the weird ghost Alaskan Bull Worm thing barreling right towards them. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have time to take Station February and move it over there. So, they just unleash a firing squad on the thing. This increasingly shows just how fortunate the girls were to encounter the Wiggly-Waggly first as it really does seem like without Sarawo’s ocular power, they most certainly would be dead by now.
I did see, I’m gonna plug Rory who good on them getting an Episode 6 review out the day it aired. I think we both endorse giving them a look (not as a substitute for us though, you’re not Clive Barker and alien conspiracies with them so if you’d like to in addition to us read up on some Otherside I’ll recommend). Rory confirmed what I noticed, they never once mentioned that Sorawo was wearing a contact. Apparently, that was mentioned in the light novel. I thought it was like a sharingan and just turned on and off when needed. It’s another instance of failing to properly set things up which, shame but it’s a minor detail so whatever. It sets up a new conflict that the girls and the soldiers are probably not allies anymore.
It was fun getting to see the shooting a sniper rifle and doing cute “mini-golf” support while doing it. Were you satisfied with this segment?
I also don’t remember them mentioning she was wearing a contact but I also didn’t mind. What I will call shenanigans on is the idea of a contact just randomly falling out of your eye. I have worn contact lenses, and they don’t just fall out like that. It could slide around and look kinda weird but fall out altogether, I think not! How is that for picking on minor details!
The girls did look cute(?) shooting that sniper. Anime is doing weird things to my brain, clearly!
All Aboard the Choo-Choo Train?
Last but certainly not least we have a daring escape in which the girls get the wild scheme to jump in front of a moving train. To anyone reading I must say, don’t try this at home. Again, like the phone scene this was a great build up of tension allowing the reader to understand the risk but the necessity to avoid capture.
Once aboard the train, it’s a real cavalcade of horrific and terrifying imagery. Which honestly, it’s nothing too intense, but I wasn’t expecting this show to have it in it. It’s tame compared to the more surreal and grotesque sequences in say Another, but like wow they really tried to up the creepy this episode. Sorry, my transitions towards you have been really weak this time, I know you’re gonna kill it regardless but yes what was your thoughts on boarding and riding the mysterious ghost train. Also do you know any spooky train stories this could be your turn to have the weekly tangent.
So my mind went to the Spirited Away train scene. There’s also one in Mononoke that has similar vibes and Hashihime of old book town has a recurring motif of the main character sitting on the train and realizing that the other passengers are ghosts. Haunted trains is a very common element of most mythologies so I’m not sure which one this was referring to.
However, I found this scene inefficient. It was much less creepy that the phone scene and too short to really build any proper tension. It was also disorienting. Why were they on a ghost train? They jumped in front of it and Toriko ripped a portal so how did they end up inside. And why. There wasn’t enough explanation for me to be worried because for all I knew this was fine. I didn’t understand what Sorao was freaking out about, considering everything they’ve been through up until now. And why would she react with cowering which has never been her instinct up until now.
So yeah, phone scene great, train scene not so great. That’s my brilliant critique.
All’s Well That Ends Well?
Or is it? I think my favorite part of these last couple of episodes is that they end on a more open-ended tease, leaving me eager to see where it is heading. There’s a few clues at the end with Kazakura’s voicemail she received and the purple background in the aloof post credit scene that seems to hint that something isn’t quite right. You’ve been great at producing head cannons thus far, any big ideas of where things are going?
This may have been my favourite scene this week. First I just really like Kazakura so just the fact that she was there is extra points. But that message may have been scarier than the first call. Because it wasn’t so distorted and obvious. It really did sound like Sorao the whole time and it was things that she could have reasonably said. But the cuts and the distortions made it so unsettling.
Editing is everything! Even if it’s just sound editing. I’m with Kazakura, I wish I hadn’t listened to that message.
Finally, unrelated by this is going up on the 13th which means tomorrow it will have been 2 years since I got acknowledged by the wonderful and incredibly talented blogger behind, I Drink and Watch Anime. I remember, it was an awards post, and it was my 100-ish WP follower special. I think the big 1-0-0 is a significant milestone in any blog or site, it’s sort of like the beginning of having “an audience”. But that day will always be the day my friendship Irina the Great started.
I remember not wanting to mention you because you were so much bigger, and cooler than me that I would be considered a nuisance. Now look at us… you’re so much bigger and cooler than me and I definitely now am a nuisance, and there’s little question about that. I never would have even imagined that we’d be collaborating like this, and all the ways you’ve supported me (and many others) through appearing in my video, to just the very frequent post likes, to just being a great writing and friend that inspires others to be the same.
I really do thing you are so admirable, and exceptional, and genuine that no little blurb or personality quiz is going to be able to capture quite how amazing you are. So with that thank you for being an incredible friend here at the movies, I hope you have a special Valentine’s day and have a lovely day. Goes for everyone out there, the world might still be closed but your heart can be open so find a way to spend it in some capacity with people and things, and treats you enjoy.
WOW two years already! Time sure does fly.
I’m going to let our readers in on a bit of behind the curtain details. K and I have this very weird relationship. Because K has always treated me with respect and acts like I’m a big deal and such and I have always been super intimidated by K’s obvious talent and brains. So we just kind of stay impressed at each other.
In any case, I’m super lucky K agreed to do this with me. It’s way more fun than if I was by myself and way more interesting too. Personally, I always thought I was super lucky to be mentioned by K or else I might not have found his blog and that would have been so sad for me.
You guys didn’t come here for this. But it’s important to let your friends know they’re awesome once in a while, and K is most definitely awesome.
You see what, I’m getting at those. So charming. Thanks for stopping by, see you next time here at the movies!