I swear she’s a dog girl and not a werewolf.
After a sort of break from the action last time, Outbreak Company is back with a vengeance. And with it, a renewed focus on social and racial divisions.
This episode features a soccer game to end all soccer games. We’ve previously seen the elves and dwarves bickering about one thing or another. So the intent of the game is to foster friendship after a friendly and competitive game. A naive belief, which is actually pointed out by the ever mysterious Matoba. But we already know that Shinichi is very idealistic. The game, while hilarious for us, pretty much ends in failure as we might expect. The reality of the situation is, if you take two parties with a deep, long-running rivalry and thrust them into a “friendly” game, it turns into a grudge match. And as entertaining as the over-the-top action in what was supposed to be a simple soccer game is, it’s not enough to cover up the rift between both sides. True, the game could have gone much worse, but I don’t think Shinichi can honestly say it accomplished what he thought it would.
What worked, however, was Petralka joining in the game. It wasn’t part of the agenda, but the supreme ruler working with a half elf to score a goal against a wild werewolf certainly did more to shake the beliefs of the people than the match between the elves and the dwarves. In fact, I might even call it shocking. Here’s the queen at the top of society, and she’s touching hands with an unsightly halfling? To the typical Eldant citizen, it would be unthinkable for the two to be friends, let alone even associate with each other. So really in the end Shinichi bit off more than he could chew, although there was now way he could have predicted that Petralka would just jump in abruptly. I have to give the guy props for not being thrown off, however. In spite of Matoba’s words of warning, he continues to see the situation as a positive step towards change. That either speaks volumes for his determination or his naivety. Or perhaps both.
Look at that rice.
On a final note, I should mention the picnic during the break of the game. With the strategic introduction of onigiri, rice inevitably ends up on faces. And you know what this means. Time for picking the grains off others’ faces and eating it. Notably, it happens with Petralka, who hasn’t received much attention lately. But this episode signals her comeback, as she sends Shinichi into bliss when he eats the grain on her face. Although I have to say I still think Myucel is the only real contender for our hero’s affections.
Outbreak Company resumes blasting ahead on the social and racial issues at a pace that surprises me. I keep expecting the approach to be much slower than it is for some reason, but this is just fine. And I guess it does make sense to make good headway on these issues at every opportunity as these things obviously aren’t resolved so easily or quickly. At this rate, it’s looking like bringing the otaku culture to Eldant will keep taking the backseat.