For our July anime challenge the anime is Outbreak Company. It tells the tale of Shin’ichi Kanō, a recluse otako that takes an online exam for a job. Being very knowledgeable on anime, manga and videos he passed the test and meets his new employer. He is drugged and kidnapped and wakes up on another world, a fantasy world. Shin’chi is then informed that the Japanese government selected him to help improve Japan’s relation with the new world by establishing a company to spread the unique products of Japanese (otaku) Culture to this new, unexplored market.
The Outbreak Company anime ran from October to December 2013. It was produced by Feel and directed by Kei Oikawa. The anime is based on the Outbreak Company: Moeru Shinryakusha (Outbreak Company: The Moe Invader) light novel series written by Ichirō Sakaki, with illustrations by Yūgen, of which 18 volumes was published from December 2011 to August 2017 by Kodansha.
Be sure to join us as we discover together if Shin’ichi has what it takes to create a market of otaku culture on a fantasy world.
Week 1 - 02 - 08 July
Episodes to Watch: 1 to 3
Let’s look at our main character, Kanō Shin’ichi. He is the son of a light novel artist and an eroge illustrator, the perfect parents for people like us who love anime, manga, light novels and visual novels. He was born into the otaku lifestyle, and in Japan it is a lifestyle frown upon, a hard lesson he learned when he confessed to his childhood friend. She ultimately rejected poor Shin’ichi, he was so affected by this that he dropped out of school and became a NEET for a year. His parents would not have it and gave him an ultimatum, rejoin society of be disowned! Since he now had no choice, our hero went job hunting, and he found a job that sat well with his Otaku lifestyle, and that is where our adventures with him begin.
When our series starts he is given the position of general manager for General Entertainment Company Amu Tech. He is whisk away sent to the Holy Empire of Erdant, a fantasy-esque world where of course, otaku culture is absent. His job, given by the Japanese Government is to lure them in to the otaku culture lifestyle, so that Japan can enter the world’s economy. Let’s see how he pulls this off!
Week 2 - 09 - 15 July
Episodes to Watch: 4 to 6
Last week we watched Episodes 1- 3. In episode 1 “I Landed in Another World” “Kigatsukeba Isekai” we watched Shin’ichi Kano pass an online test while applying for a job, he then went for an interview at the company. After the interview, the manager pours two drinks and offers our hero a toast. Shin’ichi takes a sip and passes out. When he wakes up he is in a strange bed and he meets a pretty servant girl in a cute servant outfit. Being an otaku he freaks out, of course, because here is a girl in a maid costume just like in the manga and anime! The girl hands him a magic ring and when he puts it on he finds that he can understand her. She introduced herself as Miusel Faolan, his personal maid. He also meets Private First Class Koganuma Minori from the Tokyo Special Defense force, a cute girl appointed as his personal guard. She apologizes to him about his ‘abduction’ by the Japanese Government to a fantasy world, but it was necessary due to confidentiality issues. She opens the windows of his room and immediately Shin’ichi realizes that he is not in Japan anymore when he spots a dragon flying outside!!! His new job adventure in a fantasy world officially started.
So far in episode 1 – 3 we have seen great world building. We saw a lot of areas that may hinder Shin’ichi in his task to expose the world to Japanese otaku culture: Racial profiling (example half-elves are looked down upon), 80% of the population is illiterate (books are expensive so only nobles and scholars can read), children are trained to be soldiers (It is also the quickest way for lizard men, elves and other humanoids to get a job), these are just some of the obstacles he has to overcome. This world is quite a culture shock to him.
The seiyu (voice actors) for the anime in both the English dub and original Japanese do an exceptional job and makes the characters believable. The animation is also of good quality. All in all Episodes 1 – 3 was enjoyable. Outbreak Company tackles real world problems in a respectful way, from terrorism to racial prejudice to hostage situations, and that is just the first three episodes! Oh and for all you fan service junkies, there is some mild fan service to keep you happy too. If you have not watched the first three episodes, we dare you to jump on and be part of this challenge. It has everything to keep you nailed to the screen; comedy, action and may even let you shed a tear if you are a softy at heart!
Week 3 - 16 - 22 July
Episodes to Watch: 7 to 9
Last week we watched episodes 4 – 6. Episode 4 “Furry Spy” “Kemono na Supai” deals with the aftermath of the terrorist attack cliffhanger of episode 3, but it is resolved quickly. Miusel made a full recovery and the school is up and running. One day in class Shin’ichi starts to teach otaku culture lessons, which deals in ecchi themes. Minori intervenes, saying that his lessons are too advanced. She then suggests doing a lesson and to Shin’Ichi’s shock she starts giving lessons on Boys Love themes. The whole scene is hilarious.
On their way back from school Shin’ichi and Minori chats about education when an alarm goes off. Minori says that her alarms detected an invader at their mansion. They go to investigate and find a wolf girl (called a werewolf in this anime). The werewolf girl is making an artistic sketch of their mansion. They take her into the mansion to question her and she says that she is a wandering artist. Shin’ichi looks at her sketches and he is amazed at her level of artistry. Minori is very wary of the werewolf girl, whose name is Elbia. She gestures to Shin’ichi to take off his magical translation ring, and he complies. She warns him that Elbia may be a spy from the neighbouring country, the Bahailm Kingdom. Minori tells him that this has happened before as several spies have already been caught around them.
Elbia is taken away by the imperial guard to Shin’Ichi’s dismay. The rest of the episode deals with him trying to find a way to save Elbia from execution, and to get her under his protection. Episode 4 – 6 was fun to watch and a lot of Japanese otaku culture featured such as visual novels, Boys Love themes, and ecchi. If you are into fan service, these episodes will definitely cater to your tastes. A lot happened in these episodes, but we will not spoil them for those of you that are catching up!