Ah, adolescence. How I do not miss you. Where there is so much pressure to commit to everyone’s expectations, it’s hard to find where one’s own disposition lies. Oh, but what am I talking about?
This is a fun show that takes on a comedic look at a high school girl’s experience — both positive and negative — as an otaku (and more specifically fujoshi or boy’s love fan) trying to survive a budding love life that goes in multiple directions! So what’s a girl to do? Must she deny her own shot at happiness in favor of a specific fandom? And why am I, a guy with a hint of homophobic reactions to BL but not always(?), yet talks more often than not about shōjo anime (here, here, here, and here, to name a few), reviewing this?
I don’t know. I just think it’s fun to talk about these, and I’m not quite sure what I am anymore. Kind of like going through adolescence. So sit back, bask in the social awkwardness, and let’s talk about a comedy that only teases boy’s love, but has no problem showing girl’s love!
Happy belated Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Now don’t get me wrong. I love romance anime. In fact, it’s probably the most covered genre I have done on this blog! So whenever an entire holiday that’s pretty much about sweet erotic love comes around, I always have this urge to tear it all down to show just how silly it is. Now I would call this one of my traditions around February 14, but… I missed my opportunity to make fun of it last year. (Then again, I have also tackled romance around White Day.)
Anyway, that’s enough excuses. If I’m going to break down a romance anime, I’m going to do this right. I need a good series. A popular series. One that exploits the harem genre to its fullest, and oddly enough one of the better series I’ve seen recently in the sub-genre (you heard me), because if you’re going to make a harem series, at least make sure the guy will passionately kiss anyone!
Before I get to this review, I must warn you that even I think that some of these ideas fall in the category of “fan theory.” Not that I’ve ever had problems speaking on controversial issues before, but the themes that arise from whenever I watch this series are things that I continue to struggle to answer for myself to this day. My intention for talking about this series in such a way isn’t so much about dividing fans, but to unify them, in hopes that we can all enjoy the things we do, no matter what they are.
Having said that, Outbreak Company, to me, has a tone that is a defense for the otaku community. Whether or not you agree or identify as one is moot. But let’s also not forget: this is a comedy series, so let’s try to keep this review fun and interesting, while also getting into a little bit of the in-depth discussion. And while I am on the fence about identifying as “otaku,” since that word means different things to different people, I can’t help but think that I might love those people after having watched this series… maybe.
…said no otaku ever?
This series was a surprising gem to me. Based on the TV special that came prior to the series and just the premise alone, I thought it was just going to be one of those stupid-silly romantic comedies about one guy surrounded by a gaggle of girls where the main content is all about the fan service. And believe me, I’ve seen plenty of those by now!
And yet, even the show anticipated that the audience would think that, subtly using all sorts of punch lines that tear down the proverbial “fourth wall,” to show a very creative side to romantic comedy. And while my immediate assumptions may have some truth to them, I’ve been proven once again: you can have a series that’s more than just about the fan service.
Humans have a very high potential to do great things. But having said that, the outcomes of our actions are very volatile. Some individuals can make a huge impact, while others amount to doing really dumb things. Humanity as a whole can be the cause of our own destruction, but we can also pave the way for reaching new heights and improve the lives of others and those to come. Human potential can be awesome or downright superficial, but to say that all of those outcomes are up to chance is grossly underrating that human potential.
Such is my interpretation of what goes on in this anime.