Every season, there’s that one show that you find on the quarterly chart and label as shit. But when you decide to give it a shot, you either like it or love it. For this season, that was Outbreak Company.
Before I get into praising this show, don’t expect anything great in terms of plot. For a fantasy series, it lacks the world building and deep lore to immerse viewers. For a parody, it relies way too much on references to be considered genius writing. For a romance, it lacks an amount of drama to make the relationship interesting. And even when it reaches serious territory such as racial differences, cultural invasion or leaving character’s lives at stake, it’s paced in a way so that everything intriguing is dealt with quickly.
So what makes this enjoyable despite the weak writing? Because it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s just plain nice. The premise for this show is basically an otaku kidnapped by the government to educate a fantasy world through anime, manga, and video games. It’s pretty clear how stupid that premise sounds, but the show doesn’t mock the material or glorify it. Instead it’s used as an example for something we love that we want to share. The otaku aspect is really incidental compared to the theme of connecting with others.
It also helps that the characters are quite likeable. Both Eldant denizens and the humans have a quirky and competent side to them that make them distinct, including the loli ruler Petrarca, the fujoshi soldier Minori, the animal-girl artist Elbia, and the creepy/friendly Matoba. Shinichi is a likeable lead when it comes to harems, keeping a balance between his nerdy self and a rational, kind-hearted soul. And as cliche as it is, I like the innocent relationship he has with his maid Miusel. Their relationship goes beyond “servant and master” without stepping into naughty territory, and the mutual care they have for eachother felt genuine. Sometimes a good heart can reach far, and this definitely worked in Outbreak Company.
If I had to describe my enjoyment for this show, it would be that it’s pleasant. It’s light-hearted all the way through, the jokes made me giggle, and the characters were all cute. It could’ve been a great show if the pacing and development was given serious thought, but considering how stupid the premise sounds, it’s surprising how enjoyable it was. And that’s enough for me to give it a recommendation.