Outbreak Company 03 – METANORN

Outbreak Company – 03

Spoilers: she gets better. Just watch the next episode preview.

Wow. Things sure are moving along in Outbreak Company. I honestly didn’t expect the show to start tackling the social problems in earnest until much later on, but this is just fine.

 

Otherworldly Bigots

Could you discriminate against these adorable kids?

In case you forgot, Shinichi is pretty much going to have a go at fixing Eldant’s inequalities and segregation. Of course, this just means he’s imposing his own ideals upon long-established customs and traditions. But I think in this case its excusable. You see, unlike the United States “intervening” in other nations, Shinichi actually cares about the people. He’s actually got a personal connection in the form of Myuseru, and he’s always out and about interacting with the townsfolk and children. So you see that this guy isn’t removed from the situation on the ground at all. In fact, he’s about as down-to-earth as you can get; he sincerely believes in the change he wants to bring about, even while acknowledging the difficulties he faces. And it is this straightforward yet not naive personality that really makes me think higher of him as a character.

The bad guy brigade.

Of course, it would be too simple for Shinichi’s challengers to just be a bunch of old men spouting nonsence about tradition and the foundations of the empire. So Outbreak Company spices it up nicely with the introduction of a radical group bent on preserving mankind’s superiority over other races. Yes, we’ve swerved away from social discrimination and smashed into racial discrimination. But it’s all good. Might as well start with the “broader” problems, if you can consider it that way. Anyway, the struggle provides a very natural opportunity for Myuseru to show off her progress in learning Japanese, as she is able to serve as interpreter for Shinichi when their magic rings of translation are confiscated. There’s also a brief highlight showing off Minori’s military training, but she’s honestly overshadowed by the cute elf maid and the loli queen.

Don’t mess with Myuseru.

Long story short, the gang manage to defuse the situation with the help of Shinichi’s clever bluffing and Myuseru’s magical prowess. And actually, there’s quite literally some defusing going on when the lead baddy sets off an “unstoppable” magic fire bomb only for Shinichi to put it out with a fire extinguisher, much to the amazement of every Eldant native. This “victory” does come at a price, as the lead baddy makes one last shot at Petrarca for colluding with “foreign invaders”, only to be intercepted bodily by Myuseru. There’s much bleeding and yelling, and we’re left with a cliffhanger. But then you watch the preview for the next episode and all apprehension is all but destroyed. I swear, sometimes they need to work on what they show in these episode previews.

Love in the Air

Lap reserved for the queen.

You might have noticed, but Petrarca has taken quite a liking to Shinichi. She’s always neglecting her duties to bother him. She’s offered her men to help him meet his aspirations. She’s outright challenged Myuseru for his attention (her attitude is a little poor here). Heck, she’s even saved the guy’s life. It’s like she isn’t making any effort to hide her feelings. But when you’re the queen, do you really have to hide anything? I’m personally surprised no one has objected to her feeling this way towards a strange man from a different world. But I guess anyone who tries to cross the queen will just get his head cut off anyway. Except for Shinichi, of course. But our loli queen aside, there’s some more complex development with Myuseru. At this point, it would appear that she plays the unwilling rival for Petrarca. But it’s not as if she doesn’t harbor any feelings for Shinichi at all. The only question is, are her feelings that of love?

If she blushed any harder, her blushes would have blushes.

For now, I’m going to have to peg them as feelings of admiration and respect. While I would definitely ship the master-maid duo, I’m rather reluctant to believe that Myuseru has full-blown fallen for our hero. Sure, she may be close to him all the time. But that much is unavoidable considering she’s his personal maid. There’s also that bit where she talks about wanting Shinichi to take her to his home country, complete with plenty of halting speech and mad blushing. But, and that’s not to say I’m deceiving myself like Shinichi is, I do wonder if she really had any romantic notions in mind. I think it’s more possible that she just wants to see her master’s country, where there is supposedly complete equality and freedom; a dream world for a servant who’s finally got the concept of free-will nailed down. But as we all know, she would be deceived (not that Shinichi was purposefully or maliciously lying to her). Because as much of a relative improvement Japan is to Eldant, there are still so many problems and injustices in our own world. Just look at this shit. And that’s only one example of many.

So basically I’m really, really impressed with Outbreak Company now. I think I might have said that before minus one “really”, but the show does deserve the praise. It’s not the prettiest of shows. Myuseru’s magic aside, it doesn’t even look like it has a very high budget. But what it lacks in production value Outbreak Company makes up for with its tale. I was already bought by the concept of “moe missionary”, and would have been content if that were all the show had to offer. The hints of addressing social problems and conflict were titillating, but previously I believed them to be nothing more than gimmicks to falsely boost the depth of the show. Then it actually happened. And all I can say is, the show is doing a wonderful job so far. Shinichi’s triumph over the Baydona was a terrific display of quick wits, character growth, and even humor (plus fanservice to boot). Yet the show is able to level-headedly express that the battle isn’t even near won yet. These guys are really the small-fry; they have no monetary or political backing. The heavier opposition will come later, no doubt from the entire priviledged class itself as Shinichi attempts to turn their world upside-down.

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9 Responses to “Outbreak Company – 03”

  1. sonicsenryaku says:

    I agree with your skepticism of Myuseru’s feelings for Shinichi in that while i think she’s starting to feel a certain closeness to him that might soon turn out to be love, it seems that the show is trying to ship them as the main couple and it just seems too easy and cliched to me.

    While i do think petrarca has taken a liking to shinichi, i feel like her jealousy is mostly a result of her feelings about her stature rather than her feeling like her affection and gracious gestures are not being reciprocated. Petrarca probably feels like as the queen, it should be her that gets to hog shinichi to herself, not some lowly half-elf that is at the bottom of the social ladder; to her, it doesnt make sense for shinichi to be more friendly with myuseru.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    If Dragon Heal can fix Servants, I am sure it can do the same here. 😛

  3. skylion says:

    Yeah, the writers have done a stand up job balancing the social aspect with the moe aspect. And the dynamic between Petrarca and Myuseru was very well explored. I knew we should be digging this show.

    And Myuseru is not a girl you want to piss off.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    I have to give this series some props. For a fantasy genre, it uses real life issues like status and segregation among people. These are delicate factors. Petrarca was misguided because of her lineage but that leader protesting Shinichi’s ideals for equality came off pretty much like a nazi. Hence Shinichi’s remark “What a typical master race mindset”.

    For someone who’s all about appearance, Petrarca needs to be more mindful of her outbursts. The more time people spend around her, the more they’ll see she verbally attacks Miusel out of jealousy.

  5. skylion says:

    “What a typical master race mindset”.

    I was most impressed with that bit. I expected a high strung histrionic response from Shinichi, but for him to handle it in that blase, “you’re so boring” post modern feel, was kinda original…

    • Krono says:

      Yeah it just goes to show that there is more to his character than being an otaku, if the diligence of the teaching the princess, maid, and building the school was not enough.

      • skylion says:

        I know that the word otaku, is a rather mixed thing to say. To equate it with nerd or geek is not quite it, but it is close enough in some circles.

        Nerds are lots of things, but damn it, we are passionate about what we love. I think it is quite interesting that he found a love of teaching in this.

        • Krono says:

          Yeah it’s great to teach something you are passionate about. He definitely is a nerd with guts in my opinion.

          Although it may have been mentioned before, but is he able to transition to be such a thinker and forward planner when he was such a shut-in in his world? Is it because everything is like a fantasy world and he wants to be involved with it like in manga?

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