Oh no, the show ran out of budget! Haha sorry Irina, you’re probably going to have to be good cop this week. If you thought I was kranky last week, I’m about to get hella mean! I will not shy away that I feel this is one of the worse, if not the worst final episode to an anime season I have ever seen. It is one of the most nothing finales I have ever witnessed and ends on arguably the worst episode of the entire show.

I don’t mind holding people in suspense, how was your day? Got any interesting bit of news or something you’d like to tell people before we jump into it?

That’s fine. It’s really the popular opinion and I’m quite used to having odd tastes. This said, I actually didn’t dislike this episode. I did think, wait, that’s it? But There was something about the nothingness of it that I enjoyed. 

Also, I’ve watched 12 episodes so I kind of figured out what to realistically expect and I have to say, that was pretty much it.  

Kakandara: The Worst Villain

You would think that maybe the final obstacle, one that was teased as a cliffhanger into the season finale would possible be a great threat or at the very least interesting. No, no it isn’t. This fight is more or less just a troll. As the opening takes up a minute and a half and even with that included you don’t even reach the 6-minute mark before the Kakandara is defeated. Is there a way to make a 4-minute encounter interesting, maybe? Do they do it?

·         The soldiers who definitely don’t know how to speak English shoot at the Kakandara.

·          The Kakandara enters phase 2 of boss fight within 10 secs turning into giant snake.

·         Sorawo spoon feeds the audience exposition.

·         Kakandara and Sorawo spend a majority of the fight having a staring contest.

·         Toriko drives a stock CGI military vehicle into the Kakandara and proceeds to poke it with military rake.

·         Kakandara blows up.

There’s no tension because the Kakandara like most of the enemies in this show, just stand there…. menacingly. It’s very considerate of the Kakandara to do, absolutely nothing except form change, there was plenty of no name soldiers to kill but she doesn’t kill a single person. They even make sure to let you know that everything here is pretty useless. Why does the Kakandara simple try to avoid getting hit by bullets, and if they have no effect why doesn’t she go eat some of the soldiers instead of literally standing in one place the entire time.

I mean am I wrong when I say the only way to describe this encounter is, super easy, barely an inconvenience.

 Yup:  wait, that’s it?

It was odd to even put this encounter in at all since that’s not what the episode was about. I assume this is a relic from the source material that was lost in adaptation. It’s happened quite a few times throughout the season. I mean it happened last week with the deer demon thing.

This was lame but in line with expectations for me. Which admittedly is not the same as saying it’s good but it fails to get an emotional reaction from me. I admire your passion. You gotta respect the stamina of youth!

Thank the Girls

So hooray, Sorawo and Toriko did it, they saved the day and now the soldiers can go home. I also was a little confused why they didn’t go through the portal and just find a way back to Japan. Aren’t they in the Otherside at night, isn’t that super dangerous? How do they get back from the middle of this forest? By instantly cutting home in the next scene.

Before they move on Sorawo confesses that, she could care less if those marines were trapped in the Otherside for the rest of their lives, which wow. I’ve heard people say that Sorawo has amazing development… you mean her complete lack of empathy. Doesn’t care about literally anyone in this show besides Toriko; and has used others like Akari as pawns for her own personal survival. Apparently Sorawo is also extremely petty as you realize that the BBQ episode only exists to not really set up the fact that she was jealous because Toriko called Kazakura brave.

This episode goes full send on the yuri/their underdeveloped relationship being the focus but, this show just fails at it. These characters like each other so, over the top face hugging, gushing over each other and if you could make the scene end in tonal whiplash with starting sentiment but abruptly change to a comedic scene with goofy finger pointing sound effects and cute expressions that would be great.

Otherside Picnic FINALE Episode 12: Unstoppable Duo

 I forgot this was Yuri. Then again most Yuri is this way because reasons. I’m afraid I missed the “full send on the yuri being the focus”. It must have gone over my head or something. I thought it was more present in earlier episodes but they sort of forgot about it along the way.

I have to admit I had a blast talking back to my TV following up on my headcanon that Sorawo is super thirsty for curly soldier boy. It was a hilarious exchange and anyone not in my head missed out, even if I do say so myself. This may be why I wasn’t so tuned into whatever Yuri insinuations there were. 

Really Why is Half the Episode About the Damn Tractor??

I’m sorry Irina, not even Kazakura can save the show now. Her appearance here is brief, and adds next to nothing which is a darn shame our favorite character doesn’t get more of a decent send-off to the season.

Well it is the season finale so maybe it’s a chance to clean up some final loose ends. Like any tease or update on Satsuki, maybe a better explanation of their powers, maybe an update on some minor characters like the lady that was Spirited Away, or Akari. Nope, let’s spend our last moments moving our damn tractor!?!

So they need a gate to the Otherside so they can park their tractor out of Kazakura’s place. How they find it? Sorawo randomly just goes, hey look over there. That’s maybe the most egregious problem with this show. Every problem is handled with as little effort possible. Imagine your friend tells you the story of how they found a parking spot. You’d expect that would have to have some intriguing element if they’re telling you something as mundane as finding a parking spot.

There’s nothing wrong with mundane occurrences happening as your plot point, slice of life is an enjoyable genre when done well. Nozaki-Kun does a great job of little absurd things happening to characters still in the realm of possibility and K-On is a good example of characters shining through that the situation is entertaining because of their distinct and enjoyable personalities.  Otherside Picnic tells the parking spot story like this though, “I pulled up into a parking garage, and eventually I found a spot over there and parked in it”.

If your friend or co-worker told you a story like that you would think they were completely mental. Why would you be telling me this? Is it just me Irina have I gone crazy for wanting anything to happen in this show?

I dunno K. I thought this was a slow paced and tongue in cheek send off. Sorawo and Toriko are setting up actual tools to use in Otherside thereby showing that they have accepted it as part of their life now and this is a very mundane scene that acts as a high contrast to all the supernatural and somewhat non sequitur events of the series. 

I didn’t hate this but I have been known to enjoy slow paced series where nothing really happens. Normalcy doesn’t annoy me. 

Again, I fully respect and understand that most people will find a scene like this terribly boring and it wasn’t executed as well as it could have been, by a long shot but I think a lot of the issues you have with this scene are elements I kind of liked about it.

This show has not been good at filling plot holes, not by a long shot. So I’m glad they didn’t attempt to tie up loose ends. Instead, they did something completely useless that doesn’t have any rapport with anything else that’s happened in the series and I sort of admire the nonsense of it all. This is either way too artistic for me or the writers gave up and got drunk. Either way, there was a sort of lack of conceit (and admittedly effort) that left me bemused and even a little amused. 

Then the tractor scene happens, and it looks horrendous. I’m sorry anyone who says the animation in this show looks good, has no idea what they’re talking about. If you want to see how much the animator’s cared about this show, go where your eyes aren’t supposed to be. Go back and watch Toriko on the tractor and tell me that is not a jpeg. Throughout this whole scene, the characters look flat and you can really see their outlines and how they don’t co-exist with the background at all.

Scooby Doo, Where Are You! - Album on Imgur

I’m sorry but like c’mon guys, the characters in the original Scooby Doo appear to be more in their environments than they do in this scene. Yes, the animation quality, the way in which objects move and exist within the medium is comparable to a show that aired over 50 years ago. I don’t know how you feel Irina, but I said two episodes ago that it looked like you weren’t supposed to make it to this point and this episode really looks it. I’d say the final episode of Evangelion has just of good of animation as this episode does, it’s that bad.

Oh we agree on that. However, was the animation in this episode worse than all the episodes up till now? I mean this show was always a bit ratchet looking, wasn’t it? 

Yes and no. It’s looked rough around the edges in the past but even I could excuse it a bit. Usually if you take the worst shots from the past episode it usually is an effect shot, something that either plays around with the environment, scale, or action of a scene. This is an entire scene that just looks like a PowerPoint and it’s not anything that would require anything special.

In any case, I agree with K, it looked bad. I also think most of the show looks pretty cheap except for Kazu who looks adorable.

The Show Ends with an AMV

The animation budget for this entire episode goes into a single frame of them standing with the wind in their hair which admittedly is a cool shot. Then they exchange empty platitudes and self-reflections that gives the impression of having a sweet character interaction, but nothing really happens. I’ve watched the conversation again and I really don’t think it progresses their relationship, adds depth to their character or really elaborates on an overarching theme or anything. Just wow I liked being alone but than I meet you and now I am not.

Then they have a pretty well-done final shot of the sound fading out over the grand landscape of the Otherside. It has a very at peace feel which complements the inner growth it was attempting to get a with the finale scene. It feels weird to end on this beat, but it is a nice moment surely you can’t fuck it up right?

Just kidding, the show ends with a silly joke scene that doesn’t have a punchline. As payback for keeping the tractor at her place Kazakura plans to order some expensive things off the menu and force Toriko and Sorawo to pay the bill. That’s it, it literally ends in the most random, awkward, unfunny, and incomplete scene. Irina save me?

It seems like you have decided to hate the series and I don’t think there is anything I can do to save that I’m afraid. Maybe you were holding out hope longer but this is what I was expecting. 

So This is The End

We’ll meet again. Don’t know where, don’t know when but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day! Well Irina, I hope you enjoyed teaming up the man of mischief here at the movies. I will miss knowing what post I’m going to write each week and having your cheerful optimism and head cannons. If you ever need a viewing companion, you won’t have to twist my arm too hard. But I must say that Irina is as good of a writer and partner in crime as they come. As you could see with this review, she’ll really work with pretty much anyone so maybe hit her up and you to can enjoy reviewing something fun together.

If I had to share my closing thoughts it would be that Otherside Picnic is an empty show which if you want to enjoy things not based on really shallow reasons, you’ll be greatly disappointed. If you think a show with the generic introvert/extrovert dynamic is all characters need with a couple snide remarks, go for it and romantic interest is only shown throw touching each other’s face then this show is for you.  The pacing is horrendous, the show fails to keep even basic level of continuity and overall, it discards ideas pretty rapidly. The biggest problem is that every problem the characters face is solved way too easily without any real adversity or tension to it

Is it a miserable experience, no. Is it irredeemable? Of course, it isn’t. However, I would be lying if watching the episodes didn’t feel like going through the motions, and really lacked creating any emotional response or connection besides apathy and boredom. I think earnestly the best way to recommend this show is this.

Read the synopsis on MAL, if that peaks your curiosity, than go for it but understand that it reads at a 3rd grade level. It’s a very accessible show, as someone who isn’t into crazy anime or endeared by all the troupes this is a very vanilla series and something that won’t have to spend to much brainpower. I give Otherside Picnic a 4/10. There’s something I like occasionally but all I can think of with this show is incompetence in storytelling and animation. Unfortunately even with my ENG/LIT struggles I have surpassed a 3rd grade reading level so the magic treehouse here isn’t doing it for me.

I had a great time reviewing a show with my friend K. So my takeaway is this. If you are going to watch Otherside Picnic, you should ask K to review it with you. He gets super kranky at times but it’s kind of funny. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is otherside-picnic-ep12-17.jpg

Otherside Picnic may be a misstep in adaptation or potentially the source material was not developed to begin with. Admittedly it also didn’t have a budget but I think that could have been forgiven with a good story. 

The premise is decent in my opinion, it has a lot of potential even if it is a bit cliché. And there were independent elements that worked decently. However, there was a woeful lack of connective tissue and development. 

The characters were not developed enough for me to sympathize with them or truly care about their plight. Except for Kazu but that’s just cause she was the comic relief and because I found her character design attractive. Not because she was well written. So unless you have similar tastes in animated ladies as I do, there will be nothing there.

And the rules and stakes of Otherside were never properly established so it was difficult to figure out what I was supposed to take away from any given episode.

However, unlike K, this anime did not make me angry. I went in with no expectations and quickly realized the weaknesses of the show so I was happy whenever an episode was a bit better and mostly enjoyed the experience of reviewing with someone I had not worked with before. So for me it was a generally decent ride and I do feel a bit bad for submitting K to it. But not too bad because it would have been rough without him. 

To be clear all my anger is said through a smile. Getting kranky is just what we do here at the movies. Please go follow Irina, I know you all are already but she is always a pleasant person to read her thoughts and chat with. Thanks to everyone reading, let us know in the comments what you thought of the finale or just Otherside Picnic in general. Now if you don’t mind me it is time to tractor on out of here!

5 thoughts on “Gaining Traction or Tractor? Otherside Picnic Finale

  1. This is one of those shows where the studio should have rejected the job because of a totally inadequate budget. There were 15 published chapters, and the show only used 8. None of those were suitable as a conclusion. Almost all of the continuity issues were due to them hacksawing bits off to make it fit in 12 episodes (and the last half of Ep12 was an anime original, to paper over the cracks). The last published chapter would have made a good ending, but that would have required 24 episodes and four times the budget to do properly.

    I’d recommend reading at least the first novel, to see how good the original material was. That will make you even more angry about what Linden Films did to it.

    Liked by 1 person

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