“Outbreak Company” has the strangest idea for an anime I have seen in some time: what if you could import your culture to another race?
Shin’ichi Kanōu (right on the midfield line) is a young otaku, almost a hikikimori, who is offered a job by Jinzaburō Matoba (not pictured; he’s a stiff, anyway) because of his vast knowledge of anime, manga and video games. Just after meeting his new employer, he is kidnapped, awakening in an alternate world with a fantasy setup. Shin’ichi then is informed that he was in fact selected by the Japanese government to help improve his country’s relations with this new world by establishing a company to spread the unique products of the Japanese culture to this raw, unexplored market.
Ah, but in a show like this, there are always dark motive and hidden agendas. A portal of some ilk has been discovered by the Japanese, which takes them to the Holy Eldant Empire. There, he is going to teach everyone about the glories of anime and manga and gal games and figurines and body pillows and whatever Akihabara has to offer….but at a stiff price.
Our characters are (left to right):
Brukh. Aside from being a dinoman, he is a gardener for the palace
Elbia Hanaiman. She is a werewolf, thought to be a spy.
Minori Koganuma. Shinichi’s contact with the group that sent him here
Myuseru Foaran. She is a servant in the castle and has been specifically designated to help Shinichi. She is also a half-elf (very bad)
Petralka Anne Eldant III. By the name, you can tell she rules this place.
Chancellor Zachar, her advisor
Garius En Cordbal, Petralka’s cousin and a knight who was initially resistant to the idea
Romilda Garde, a dwarf who attends the ‘otaku’ school
Loic Slesson, another half-elf who also attends the school
The series covers Shin’ichi’s attempt to bring the Otaku culture to this land, but he notices problems after problems.
The first is the class divisions. Half-elves and elves and dwarves are subhuman and exist to serve the nation. Shin’ichi will not have any part of it. He also notices that the people appear to be abandoning their tasks and chores in order to read the latest issue of “Boys Over Flowers” or something like that and a lot of nonsense fights break out. He then learns the painful truth behind all of this and the steps he has to take to protect this empire.
The shows started out nicely, as it is a relief to see a loser type make it in a field where others feel it is a waste of time, but near the end, when the plot was exposed, it got a bit hard to swallow, as those the evil forces were half-heartedly pursuing their ultimate end. But I did like it, especially the trip to Akihabara and the soccer match (that is a still from the episode above). OK, it has a message: that we really can come together if we set aside petty differences, but just the quirky nature of the show drew me in. Really, a dinosaur gardener? Overall, I place this in the middle of the pack. It is deserving of your attention, but not an immediate watch.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Good character design)
Plot 7 (A good twist on things)
Pacing 7 (A bit slow to get started, but moves well after that)
Effectiveness 6 (The ‘hidden agenda’)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 5 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)
Overall 6 (Falls apart near the end)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Truly bizarre!