Urasekai Picnic – Episode 3
Ah, thinks quickly went from 0 to 100 in this episode and if you blink there’s a good chance you might miss something important. I honestly thought this was pretty decent episode! Of course, there are some things that didn’t quite sit well with me but I’m happy with the “slice of lifey” vibes we got throughout the episode followed by the creepy atmosphere that arose when the two stumbled upon the big head village. Heck, I’m not even mad about them using CGI for the villagers because it just made them even more unnerving to look at!
In last week’s entry I mentioned that it took a while to get into the episode, and I think I feel a similar sentiment this week. However, they were able to keep me on my toes with the opening sequence. I never knew when they were going to have to hide in a shed or what they were hiding from. Even when things were incredibly relaxed, there was still something in the back of my mind wondering when something would pop out and make them run. So, I’ll give them kudos for that. Also, the absence of the elevator girl while they were heading to the otherworld was really well done! I figured it would have something to do with her since Toriko kept checking down the empty hallways, but I wasn’t expecting her to pop up when she did. I think this was another instance where they kept the tension up just high enough to feel an impact from the moment, but not overplaying it.
As for the slice of lifey bits that I mentioned, I’m still not too sure how I feel about Toriko and Sorao making long excursions avoiding glitches and just… talking. Actually, I don’t mind the two of them talking because if fleshes out their relationship even more and gives Sorao those opportunities to be jealous of Toriko’s old partner or establish some background experience. There were some moments where I was lulled into a sense of security because it was just… so calm. And that’s why I call it more slice of lifey than anything else. Just two girls talking and bonding and not much else. But at the same time, I really hope that this isn’t going to be the formula for episodes coming up. Every once in a while, is fine by me, but I can quickly see how I might check out during these moments. Plus, it takes away from the moments of supernatural that come in later that may benefit for extra screen time.
And boy do I think we need more screen time. It kind of bugged me that once we got the village neither of them even considered thinking about glitches even though they were so focused on them in the minutes leading up to their arrival. Even when they had to run away! The only mention of a glitch is when Sorao found the portal back to their world. But nah, when they’re walking very carefully the glitches are a problem for them, but when they’re running, turning around, and shooting? They’re not that important. And in all fairness, if I were being chased by some supernatural being, I probably wouldn’t think about glitches being as much of a threat. But still! I think they could have implemented the glitches into the chase! Also, one minor gripe that I had with the episode is as scary as the Big Head creatures were…. we didn’t learn much about them. What kind of creature are they? Do they have a weakness? Why are they in the village? What is their lore??? Perhaps, it will be addressed in next week’s episode if the two decide to talk about their adventure, but I… highly doubt that. But I still stand by that using the CGI to animate them was a good idea since it looked off. So, again props to them there.
I think I like the fact that each episode is its own adventure. Aside from the knowledge and relationships, nothing really carries over from episode to episode, so I do tend to feel satisfied once we hit the end. Obviously, it’s not official closure, but I feel pretty confident that once we hit the ending that week’s creature is done and dealt with (and maybe I’m wrong! Maybe a Big Head made it through the portal and just appears differently). I’m looking forward to more interactions with Toriko and Sorao, because even their little “Death!” interaction was enjoyable to see! Though, I hope they kind of spice it up a bit. But! Overall, I think it was a solid enough episode, I’m looking forward to their next adventure and hopefully Sorao can tell Toriko her real thoughts and feelings!