Moments from death, Sorawo is saved by the mysterious Toriko in the Otherside. Attracted to its beauty, she soon discovers that this dimension is inhabited by monsters once thought imaginary. Joining with Toriko in her search for a missing friend, they set out to explore this nightmare-realm and maybe make a little money. What they encounter could bring enlightenment—or drive them mad!
After watching the first episode, I had high hopes for this show. The concept was interesting, the characters showed promise and the world had endless possibilities. The music and visuals looked pretty good, as well. However, as the weeks went on, I began to feel disappointed with where it was going. Not much was happening. While new characters were introduced now and then, it didn't feel like the story was going anywhere. One of the big goals from the start was to find Toriko's friend Satsuki, but twelve episodes later it doesn't seem like they've moved at all. One of the reasons I was drawn in was the excitement of the huge area, the Otherside, that they'd be able to explore. The monsters and creatures introduced at the start were fascinating and I was looking forward to learning more about how the world works. However, more time was spent waiting around than I would've liked. All that said, Urasekai Picnic is not a bad show. The visuals and music are captivating. The concepts draw you in and keep you watching. The scenes where Sorao and Toriko encounter creatures or get trapped in certain places keep your eyes glued to the screen. I kept watching because I wanted to know where the world would take them next, but I don't know if it was entirely worth my time.
Otherside Picnic, based on a light novel series, it is about a college student named Sorawo Kamikoshi, someone who loves to frequent abandoned buildings and Japanese urban legends, discovers a door to a place known as the Otherside where urban legends and creepypasta become real. While there, she is saved from nearly dying by a Canadian-Japanese girl, Toriko. She explains to her that she was trying to find her friend Satsuki who disappeared during one of her expeditions months ago. While in the Otherside, they also collect artifacts to then sell them to a researcher of the other world named Kozakura. The show is not the best, but it has its moments. For one, I feel that the Otherside is not fully realized. They do provide exposition of what the Otherside is, but the way that the anime presents in, we are already launched skin deep into the story without fully explaining how these characters discovered the Otherside, nor how the dimension works as there are many ways that someone could accidentally wind up in the Otherside. While the Otherside is a very interesting concept, it felt more like a backdrop to establish the setting of the series. Because of this, there isn't much investment that one can take in the story due to it barely scratching below the surface of the inner mechanisms of the world. Animation. It is serviceable, that I can guarantee, and some shots of the Otherside do look adequate. When it comes to representing the monsters, however, a lot of the action/intense scenes are blatantly CGI-animated that it takes you out of the scene if you think too much about it. With having an intriguing plot such as going to another world, it doesn't live up to its full potential and is barely creative with how the world functions. But with an uninteresting story, are the characters at least good? Sorawo and Toriko are the lead characters and they do have great chemistry with each other I won't deny that. Sorawo is someone who starts off introverted and would rather be by her lonesome. This does make her hard to like at first because she really isn't much of a "hero" at the beginning. She was someone who could come across as cowardly and would have to be pushed by Toriko to save people. This came as the result of past trauma that is reflected on, but whether the show does a good job at depicting her PTSD is another question. She does get better towards the end of the series, however. Toriko was a little more interesting. She was trained by her JTF2 mother in arms and is motivated by her goal of finding her "friend." She tends to be more optimistic and energetic which does serve as a good contrast to Sorawo. There are also some inclinations that she is drifting away from her in favor of Sorawo. Kozakura is a good supporting character. As mentioned, she collects strange artifacts from the Otherside and mainly does indoor research due to her fear of going out in the field. She is a cute character and is often deadpan in her behavior There were two others introduced in the middle of the show's run, childhood friends Natsumi and Akari. Akari was taught karate and is involved in two supernatural cases; Natsumi works with cars and other vehicles and is obvious that she is crushing hard on her friend. But they are...kind of there. They don't really contribute much to the overall story and are slightly bland. I had to look up their names again because of how forgettable they were. The show has that kind of effect on me: aside from interesting character traits and flaws, at the end of the day, are they characters that I would remember long after the show is over? It isn't a must-see masterpiece, but I do like it for its concept.
Otherside Picnic wasn’t terrible. It was ultimately uninteresting. The premise for Otherside Picnic was interesting enough for me to give it a try. As the tags state, it’s a mystery focused on urban legends with elements of Sci-Fi and GL. It’s structured as a “monster of the week” show with the protagonists, Toriko and Sorawo, encountering new supernatural aberrations every episode. The plot is driven by Toriko’s desire to find her friend Satsuki who was lost in a parallel world known as the “Otherside” as well as her budding friendship with Sorawo as they explore the mysterious world. Unfortunately, while Otherside Picnic had potential to be a hidden gem among the dozens of anime that come out each season, the poor execution of its ideas doomed it to the mediocrity zone. The story was episodic, which in of itself isn’t bad, but there seemed to be very little connecting each episode and very little sense of progression. We didn’t learn very much about the world, at the end of episode 12 I barely knew more about the Otherside than I did at the end of episode 1. A few subplots get introduced, such as the one about Toriko’s friend Satsuki, but most of them remain unresolved. The story felt more like an extended prologue to a larger work that advanced rather slowly by modern anime standards, which in the rat race known as “seasonal anime” is a good way to get people to drop your show. The characters were pretty mediocre. Sorawo spent most of the show being a misanthrope who just went on adventures with Toriko for… reasons. Toriko was introduced as a character who was willing to risk her life for the sake of her friend, but never developed beyond that. The side characters didn’t get much development either. Kozakura was my favorite character in the show but even her snarky humor wasn’t enough to carry the cast. Without any characters to latch onto, I had a hard time finding motivation to watch from episode to episode. Even if the characters and story are below par, an anime can be salvaged if it gives me something nice to look at. However, the animation was some of the worst I’ve seen in a while. CGI is a necessary part of modern animation, but it must be composited seamlessly into the animation as a whole in order for it to look like it belongs (for an extremely bad example, see Ex-Arm). While Otherside Picnic was not nearly at the level of that atrocity, the compositing overall made it so that every CG element stuck out like a sore thumb. The 2D elements weren’t much better, with washed out colors and a rather generic style. These are supposed to be bullets. Overall, Otherside Picnic is an anime you can easily skip and not feel like you’ve missed out on much. If you’re really into urban legends, guns, teased GL, or monster horror, it might be worth checking out, but if after the three episode rule you haven’t really gotten much out of it, rest assured that you can safely drop it.
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