Urasekai Picnic – Episode 4

Oh man, what an episode. I think they did a really good job laying down the scene for this episode and really ramping up the creepiness factor. But I find myself leaving the episode much more confused than I was at the beginning and I sincerely hope it’s because those answers will come later one. If it doesn’t…. well, this episode jumped around a bit more than I would like and introduced a lot of concepts but never really explained them. So… I hope the elements that we were introduced to this week do make a comeback.

And when I think about it, there are quite a few elements that I felt weren’t explained adequately. First and foremost, the Space-Time Man who I thought would be the major focus of this episode. It started off really ominous and creepy with his appearance to Sorao and the way that he played into her fears. But overtime… he was just mentioned and then reappeared momentarily once Sorao made her way to the glitch city. I think I can forgive the situation if his sole purpose was to just cause fear and add to the overall atmosphere. I appreciate that they are very clear that the Otherside is not exactly an amusement park of fun for them to explore. So, at the very least it seemed realistic that he would caution her from returning. And it also amped up the scare from the ding-dong ditchers! The second thing I was thoroughly confused by were the plant people. I don’t…. really know why they were there. It was something that Sorao had to snap out of… but otherwise. I don’t think they added much. At first, I thought Toriko might have been turned into one of them and we’d have to save her, but it just served as a way for Kozakura to reappear. But lastly, my biggest question lies with Sorao’s doppleganger! What happened to her after she phased through the door??? Is she going to come back? What’s her deal!? But of all three of these mysteries, I think that’s the one that we’ll see more in the future, so I’ll continue to hold in my stress.

Despite my many questions about some of the things introduced in this episode, I think narratively the episode moved pretty smoothly. I love the atmosphere which fed into Sorao’s doubt which in turn separated her from Toriko. Then having her meet up with Kozakura only to be met with the three outside the door to be teleported to the other world. It was a neat way to get Kozakura to go to the Otherside and I’m happy that we get to see more of her. She’s cute and I care her. I like that she’s not a total kuudere, but she’s just as charming as the other two. I love that she tried to play off her fear, but at the end of the day she’s just scared and I’m happy that she can admit to that. I’m not totally sold on her dynamic with Sorao, but she definitely added some energy to the episode.

As for what happened to Toriko, I once again have more questions than answers, but of all the things I was confused by, I really wasn’t all too concerned with what was happening with her. Toriko had previously been going to the Otherside all by herself before the series even began – it’s just her obsession with finding her old partner that is cause for worry. So much so that she was leading herself to get killed again by a creature we don’t even know! But dang, Sorao shooting it down with all the bullets? That was a cool scene and I’m glad the two were able to be reunited. So now they can go on even more adventures! I just hope if they decide to bring Kozakura along, they won’t leave her behind.

I definitely enjoyed this week’s episode a lot more than last week’s. This anime is really a rollercoaster in a lot of ways. The quality varies and so does the pacing, but all around I think there has been something engaging in each episode! So that’s a plus! My hope is that we’re going to start moving away from the single episode story and start having something told over the span of two or three. I haven’t read the source material yet, but it really does seem like they are trying to cram a lot of content into a short amount of time. Ah well, I can only speculate, so I’m hoping next week will be enjoyable too!


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2 Responses

  1. FoundOnWeb says:

    They are certainly doing a lot of compression. In the LNs, there’s a lot more space devoted to describing the stories of the Space-Time Man and the Three Doorbell Ringers, and their background on the Internet.

    I think you’ll find that the arbitrariness is a feature, not a bug. Otherside is a nightmare world, and as such doesn’t always make sense, and things that look like they might be significant don’t always get a followup. As they said somewhere in the LNs (not a spoiler), if you try to figure out the logic behind what happens in a ghost story, you’ll go mad. Ep 4 is where they postulate that Otherside is trying to communicate with us via fear. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, because the key final volume of the LN hasn’t been published in English yet.

    OTOH, I’m not sure of the significance of Toriko’s white dress.

    • Quietcupcake says:

      Oh! I see, I see. I’ll have to take a different approach going into future episodes. I definitely feel into that trap of trying to assign meaning to everything. I still think some of the creepiness factor is hit or miss for me – like the elevator segments do a really good job for me, but the transformation to plant people was more of a “…ok?” type of reaction. But I hadn’t considered that perspective until now!

      And yeah! I don’t think I even touched on the white dress. When I watched the episode, I definitely acknowledged it, but in the end I left it up to one of those unexplained things. Maybe it was a juxtaposition to “Satsuki’s” black dress.

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