College student Sorawo Kamikoshi nearly dies in the parallel world called Otherside after encountering a mysterious monster. Fortunately, she was rescued by Toriko Nishina, a young woman who also travels in Otherside to see her friend. Together, Sorawo and Toriko now embark on a journey to unravel the mystery of the parallel world, the world where creatures from internet creepypasta forums emerge as dangerous monsters.
Dany Muhammad (The Indonesian Anime Times)
If the title Otherside Picnic makes you think this is an isekai anime about leisurely picnic a la Yuru Camp but in another world, I don’t blame you. Even the promotional picture can give such an impression. But Otherside Picnic can be better described as a thriller that is heavily inspired by urban legend horror, where the character, in this case Toriko and Sorawo, could easily die anytime while exploring the other world.
While there may be many people who dislike horror, there’s something in the unknown that can spark curiosity. That’s definitely what makes people like Toriko and Sorawo are interested in exploring the Otherside. They also have other objectives too, like finding a friend or getting money. But I can’t help to think that Toriko and Sorawo also see the Otherside as a way to escape their daily lives, especially because the show begins with Sorawo’s monologue about her failed campus life.
The bright lighting and colour palette doesn’t actually give much horror impression. And this is why when Kunekune appears, it feels more like a monster rather than a ghost or supernatural being. Maybe this approach is designed to broaden the appeal of this anime. But don’t let the bright look fools you, though, as there are still some moments that can be considered scary, like the elevator scene where Sorawo and Toriko meet another supernatural being before reaching Otherside.
Animation-wise, Otherside Picnic is solid. I like the way the animation conveys body language. It is subtle, as the camera never highlights those by closing up on certain body parts, but you still can feel them. Other than that, the character design is arguably cute, which also could broaden the appeal of the anime. The voice acting is also great. I can feel Sorawo’s jadedness in Yumiri Hanamori’s voice and Ai Kayano expresses Toriko’s cheerfulness very well. Moreover, both voice actresses deliver those expressions in a way that sounds mature, which fits the characters because both of them are adults, not high school girls.
Honestly, the first episode is a great watch. One of the best viewing this season, in my opinion. The production value is good, and the horror story focusing on ghost stories from internet copypasta forums feels fresh. If you’re interested, especially if you’re looking for an adventure thriller centering on a group of adults, Otherside Picnic would be an easy recommendation.
Otherside Picnic is currently streaming on Ani-One
Facts and Figures
|Alternate Title||Urasekai Picnic|
|Source material||Novel by Iori Miyazawa|
|Casts||Ai Kayano as Toriko Nishina
Miyu Tomita as Akari Seto
Rina Hidaka as Kozakura
Yumiri Hanamori as Sorawo Kamikoshi
|Director||Takuya Sato (Steins;Gate, Kase-san and Morning Glories)|
|Scenario||Takuya Sato (Kase-san and Morning Glories)|
|Character Design||Ayumi Nishibata (OshiBudo)|
|Opening Song||“Minikui Ikimono” by CHiCO with HoneyWorks|
|Ending Song||“You & Me” by Miki Satou|
|Broadcast Date||4 January 2021 (1430 GMT, 2130 WIT, 2330 JST)|
Screenshots and Trailer
The Indonesian Anime Times