Urasekai Picnic – Episode 12 [Final Impressions]
That was a really sweet way to end this episode, and the series as a whole. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I think we were able to wrap everything up nicely. They successfully defeated the Kakandara, the soldiers were able to escape, Sorao and Toriko are no longer alone, and at least Kozakura (and Akari) gets some all you can eat meat after all the nonsense she’s had to go through with these two.
The Kakandara was a fine final boss for the series. Personally, I think there were definitely scarier things that they’ve come across in the Otherside, but the fear from last week’s episode helped build up the suspense for the battle. Plus, it helps that the soldiers had previously come across the monster, though I do kind of wish there was more of that “frozen with fear” reaction. Granted, they are soldiers and by this point they’ve seen their fair share of unexplained horrors since they’ve arrived. If they’ve lasted this long without dying or going insane, I suppose they deserve to have a fighting chance. I liked how they animated the half-snake, half-human creature! It moved in such a way that I really didn’t expect a creature like that to move, and that honestly made her more frightening. She’d grow long, then expand, and of course there’s the variety of holes she was able to create in her body. If we hadn’t taken out so many otherworldly creatures by this point, I would’ve been surprised if they won!
But of course, Toriko and Sorao are seasoned veterans when it comes to fighting (or running away from) the various creatures of the world. It’s pretty helpful if you have a hand that can attack weak spots, as well as an eye that can see them. But hooray! The girls did it! They saved the soldiers and helped them get back home. It was funny though when they closed the gate on them. Poor soldiers were probably confused at the end of it. How did they think these girls were going to get home? At the very least, I think the two of them should have joined, they probably would have gotten a decent free meal out of it. Ah, well… At least there were no casualties and the rescue mission was a success!
The second half of the episode went in a direction that I fully wasn’t expecting. Honestly, I was just waiting for Satsuki to appear somewhere even if it was just a cryptic message. You could argue that she was in one of the photographs, but in the end, she was hardly mentioned. But I will admit that I appreciated that Sorao and Toriko were able to just talk after all was said and done. They finally had a calm trip to the Otherside and were able to recount their experiences along the way. I loved the conversation of Sorao wanting to be alone, and that no one would care if she were to disappear along with Toriko saying that she didn’t care about anything else besides being with Satsuki. And ultimately, they were able to find each other and now appreciate no longer being alone! It was really sweet and at the very least was able to wrap up their interactions nicely for the series.
Overall, I think this was a fine final episode for the series. While I still have a decent amount of unanswered questions, they still managed to wrap everything up nicely. I’m satisfied with this ending and I think it works regardless of if there will be a second season in the future. So, thank you for the ride Urasekai Picnic!
And so, we’ve reached the end of Urasekai Picnic, and honestly, I don’t have as much to say about it as I thought I would. Looking back on my first impressions, my sentiment still stands: ” So, all in all, […], I think there’s a lot of potential, but it definitely could have been more”.
There were a lot of really good ideas in the anime. I loved the characters; each one was enjoyable in their own way. Toriko is on the optimistic side of things and really helped to lighten up the mood when things got too dark. Sorao is a good juxtaposition to that because she often takes a more cautious approach. But overtime, it’s nice to see her open up and become more comfortable with Toriko and the situation as a whole. It’s an interesting way to get close to someone – crossing to another world and fighting off monsters – but hey! It works. Even the side characters were fun to have around. Kozakura being both the informant, but also just a huge scaredy cat was really nice to see. Though, I do wish we were more consistent with her character. Sometimes she would be present just to be the informant and other times she was just there to point out how ridiculous the situation was and sometimes she was just brought along for the ride. I wish we got to have more of her. Speaking of characters, I wanted to see more of, Akari and her friend! Akari is a fun character because she 1) is just overly trusting and really energetic and 2) can beat the absolute nonsense out of you. I wish she introduced earlier or at least a consistent party member after she was brought in. On the episodes that she wasn’t involved in, it almost seemed like they had to wiggle her in somehow just to make sure that we didn’t forget about her. But still, all the characters added something interesting to the story.
Another thing I enjoyed were the various creatures in the Otherside! I loved the suspense that was often built up when encountering these creatures. Some of them were more intense than others but I think the series really did a good job of bringing us into security and then immediately taking that security out from under us. Granted, it was expected that they were going to run into scary things over time, but it was often a matter of when it was going to happen, how it was going to happen, or just what we are dealing with this time. I think the horned man and the rogue robotic dog with the bodies hanging down were probably the ones that stressed me out the most. Just the fact that they often lurked in the distance sends shivers down my spine. (And on that note, I think I enjoyed the episodes with the military the most because they really amped up the suspense).
Despite there being a lot of things that I enjoyed, I do think that the anime really lacked in follow through and consistency. So often, I could see that the suspense was building, but they always seemed to stop short of the peak. Or things would get thrown at you so fast that three different monster interactions happened but there’s no time to fully understand what had just happened. I just always felt like there could be a little bit more. More fear, more fighting, heck! even just more Toriko and Sorao interacting. The ideas were there, but the execution was pretty… lackluster.
I think every episode on their own suffered from what I just mentioned, but as standalone episodes they were pretty alright. They could have been better, but they were alright. Another thing that I had a bit of frustration was the inconsistency in the story telling or what was going on. From what I’ve gathered from others, it seems like they really skipped around with the Light Novel arcs so that’s probably why everything felt really disjointed. I think it was fine if they were doing “Monster of the week” type show, but I really am still not over Lady Hasshaku’s hat. And it’s hard with this series! They are dealing with Otherworldly things; anything is really possible but sometimes it really would have been nice if they recalled their previous adventures to have that overarching narrative to follow.
And while I have my frustrations with the series, I would absolutely recommend that individuals give this anime a shot. It’s far from perfect! But it was pretty interesting overall. And at the very least it makes me curious to check out more of the Light Novel to see how it was initially written out! To give it a rating, I’d probably give it a 6 out of 10, for all the reasons I listed above: Characters were fun, the premise was interesting, and there were good elements sprinkled about. But it didn’t rank higher due to the disorganized plot, inconsistencies, and loose ends.
Thank you for following me on this journey! If there were a second season, I think I would be inclined to watch it. At the very least I hope we can find Satsuki and understand everything surrounding her. But I’m also pretty content with what we’ve gotten so far. Like I said, I’ll likely pick up the LN in the future to see what more Otherside trouble Toriko and Sorao find themselves in!