Petralka’s political maneuvering saves Shinichi, and leaves the door open for a sequel.
What They Say
Shinichi’s mission is to bring “otaku culture” to this new world in order to facilitate effective commerce between the two worlds. As an expert in anime, light novels, manga, and dating sims, Shinichi is revered and admired in the new world, and an unexpectedly fulfilling real life awaits him!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The last episode of Outbreak Company basically restores the status quo, which is the way the market works these days. If it’s a success, there’s certain to be additional light novels that can be adapted, or new adventures can be created. However, that means that the conclusion isn’t terribly impactful, as Shinichi does not die out of his love for the purity of otaku culture, nor is a winner from the harem picked. The show merely ends on a solid note, which is fitting for the kind of compromises Outbreak Company makes.
The first half of the episode is very well done. The episode opens on an assassination sequence where Shinichi’s murder is to be performed by a group of JSDF soldiers. They don’t expect that Petralka’s maids will be guarding him, and neither do they expect they are a well-trained group of expert bodyguards as well. When the direct method fails, the Japanese either aid or launch an attack under the Bahailam rebel flag, on both the Empress’ castle, the city square, and Shinichi’s precious school. When the otaku library is threatened, Shinichi runs to put it out, and falls into a JSDF trap. Myucel and Elbia attempt a rescue, but it ultimately comes down as a test of loyalty for Minori. And even here, there’s not much suspense, as we know she is a fujoshi and values anime and manga above mere national affiliations.
Shinichi’s life is secured when he sneaks in one of Petralka’s spy owls while he’s conversing with a high government official via webcam. As Petralka has successfully learned Japanese over the course of the show, she is able to hear Japan’s threats to Shinichi, and can therefore kick Japan out of Eldant if she so chooses. Ultimately, it is decided that the attack on Shinichi will be blamed on Bahailam rebels, and that the activity of AmuTec and Eldant will continue as before.
It’s not particularly dramatic, but a status quo-ending like this gives us the closure of a happy ending and hope for more. I am sad, however, that Elbia’s character remained largely undeveloped, and that we won’t see Eldant’s nascent anime industry start up. It looks like it will be kept at bay by Japanese imports, at least for the time being. Learning more about Eldant and the growth of native talent would be a great topic for a second season.
With its promise of a “thoroughbred otaku moe missionary” spreading otaku culture to a fantasy kingdom, Outbreak Company didn’t inspire much hope during season previews. But the show won a devoted following with its first four episodes which followed a surprisingly political arc. Things were weighed down in the middle with typical light novel antics and beach, date, and school festival episodes, but the show improved for an exciting twist and solid conclusion. There were many potential avenues for exploration that Outbreak Company chose not to go that might have yielded a more sophisticated series, but overall it was a solid and entertaining response to the “Cool Japan” concept from the heart of otaku culture itself.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: Sony VAIO 17″ HD screen