Finally, we get a beach episode! Toriko and Sorao can finally relax under the summer sun with some beer and… guns? Well, it’s not too uncommon for these two to go on adventures while bringing along their trusty weaponry, but I’m surprised they even had the capacity to carry as much as they did. They have some real rpg type backpacks they’re carrying around.
I won’t beat around the bush, but this episode was a real miss for me and I’m not really sure what drove it home for me. I know that we have to keep up with the varying arcs from the source content, but I think I would have preferred this episode much better if it committed to one thing. Is it a beach episode? Or is it a Otherside episode? I feel like neither of them were fully realized and in the end, it was almost comical to me. It’s just a little disappointing considering what we had gotten in the past two episodes. Perhaps I would have even been okay with it, if the two thought they were in Okinawa on the beaches only for things to get more eerie as time went on, rather than just having the shift of “Oh! I guess we’re in the Otherside now. But a beach is still a beach! Let’s go!”. The whole time they were at the beach we were just waiting for something to happen, there were plenty of things that could have gone wrong so the eventual “horror” or “scare” that happened felt really lack luster for me.
I am, however, happy that the two of them got to bond together on the beach. They had fun given their situation, it’s a bummer that they couldn’t even play volleyball or have a barbeque. But hey! At least they got some target practice in! And on that note, I’m interested to know why Toriko’s mom gave her shooting lessons, that was something that was so casually dropped… I wonder if they’ll bring that up again in the future. But pretty much as soon as noise started happening away from them, that’s when I knew whatever made the noise wasn’t going to be human – especially paired with Toriko’s “can you shoot another human” question. I was already in a state to believe that Toriko and Sorao were the only humans in the area especially when the other “humans” didn’t even bother to bat an eye at the guns. And everything else that happened after just seemed to happen so fast. The reference back to a few episodes ago referring to the color blue, the lone child, followed by all the child like figures in the beach shop, and the creatures on the ground. I couldn’t really grasp what was going on and I really didn’t feel like either of them were on the verge of “going insane”. Honestly, I feel like this episode would have made more of an impact if it happened earlier on in the series.
And in the end, they were able to escape thanks to Lady Hasshaku’s hat. If anything, I think the most ominous thing we saw was the figure floating in the sky. Like it’s one thing to keep the two worlds separate but to have the creatures from the Otherside potentially come over to the “real” world is frightening!! But at least they are safe for now and able to return home. Thank goodness for Toriko’s positive outlook to keep things moving forward, but maybe sometimes she should take a page out of Sorao’s book and be a little more cautious about what she decides to do.
Despite my frustration, I don’t think this was a terrible episode, I think it was just something that just didn’t meet my expectations. After everything that happened with Kisaragi station I thought there was going to be a tone shift, but aside from a couple flashbacks, we don’t get very much acknowledgement that the two have learned much from their time in the Otherside. This episode just went back to the “one-episode adventure” formula and I think that’s really why I didn’t vibe with this episode. Still, I’m going to keep a positive outlook for next week’s episode – they’re still stuck somewhere but maybe Kozakura will find a way to get them home.