October 14, 2013

Outbreak Company

Went into this with low expectations. Otaku brought in to flog otaku goods to a fantasy world? Cute maid and princess characters? Yeah, yeah, just another otaku validation show where the hero's utter lack of other redeeming traits is glossed over because he's a generic nice guy, which makes him the most desirable target for every female in the show...

And this show isn't particularly different from that. Shinichi's just a short step above a hikkikimori - he filled out a job application and went to an interview - but ridiculously out of his depth, thrown into the position of cultural ambassador by virtue of the Japanese government not trusting its own export-promotion planning (worth a chuckle but a fairly thin premise for the show).

And yet it's working, so far, mostly because it's not pulling any punches on the class issue - Shinichi is spending less time feeling up the maid and more trying to figure out how to sell manga to illiterate peasantry with no disposable income or free time. In a way it's a little cheap (Shinichi is a nice guy not because of generic inoffensiveness but because he's horrified by the concept of beating the servants and doesn't have racial prejudice against pointy-eared maids or lizardmen...)

But it also gives the show something to do besides devolve into the typical brew of romantic comedy misunderstandings, and there's the opportunity for some real reflection... to what extent do you have to share the values to enjoy the entertainments? Will they have to import their values along with their anime? (Or for that matter, is the whole thing a smokescreen for a resource-hungry Japan to finish preparations before it rolls in the tanks?)

I'll give the show two additional good points - it tackles the literacy problem head-on, and it's not afraid to spoof some recent stuff (that's Attack on Titan they're reading there...)

Could get good, could throw it all away with maid grab-ass and beach episodes, no telling which it'll actually do yet. Pleasantly surprised so far but mostly because I wasn't really expecting anything from it.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at 01:49 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Seriously, if the only thing you can think to do with a virgin market full of illiterate peasantry, no hygiene, and appalling governance is to sell them otaku gear, you deserve to get burned as a witch by the local deacons of  the Universal Church of Crystal Dragon Jesus.  I've been avoiding Crunchyroll recently. I guess I ought to give this one, appalled view?

Posted by: Mitch H. at October 14, 2013 12:19 PM (jwKxK)

2 That's why the we're-going-to-invade-later angle occurred to me. You don't want to sell them heavy industrial equipment and modern communications gear if you're planning on attacking later, no?

Honestly, I dunno if I'd recommend yet. I'll give it a couple more episodes to see if it avoids the moe trap...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at October 14, 2013 12:32 PM (GJQTS)

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