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EP. REVIEW: Otherside Picnic


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dm
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:53 pm Reply with quote
I have to admit that I'm prejudiced, since I picked up the first Otherside Picnic novel because having been primed by many favorable reviews by Erica Friedman on Okazu, the final push came in the ANN Trailer Watch-a-thon when Mike Toole said in an aside "I've heard it's related to the old SF novel Roadside Picnic". I read the first novel, then immediately blitzed through the remaining three that have been translated.

So my judgment is a little skewed by the enjoyment of the novels.

The show is doing a pretty faithful adaptation of the novels )though I don't remember spoiler[the Big Head village] in episode 3 (it's like enough of their encounters).
Episode three had a lot of treats, spoiler[such as focusing on the magazine cover, "Lovers" when Sorao put it down to follow after Toriko)].

Despite being "spoiled" by having read the novels, I think the series is doing a pretty good job of being creepy.
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Silverado.



Joined: 19 Jan 2021
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:02 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
show is already having trouble remembering to depict Sorao's mismatched eye (unless there's a detail about her hiding it under a color contact sometimes that I missed)

Yes, she uses a color contact sometimes, but I don't think it was mentioned in anime.
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gridsleep
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:22 pm Reply with quote
Roadside Picnic is one of my favorite stories of all time. This is the kind of anime I live for.
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darkchibi07



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:26 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, episode 3 was an anime original episode penned by the original author so if you didn't remember those events from the novels, that's why.

So far, I like the show especially the solid chemistry of our 2 lead women. The only thing that could taint this is that I'm also watching Wonder Egg Priority which absolutely nailed the atmosphere and creepiness with the animation which that I kind of wished Otherside Picnic also possessed.

Quote:
“Daphne and Velma from Scooby-Doo go tromping around the Shimmer from Annihilation and also maybe they wanna smooch each other?”


Someone give Chris a raise for that perfect tagline. Laughing
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Sisyphusson66



Joined: 04 Dec 2018
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:13 pm Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:
Yeah, episode 3 was an anime original episode penned by the original author so if you didn't remember those events from the novels, that's why.

So far, I like the show especially the solid chemistry of our 2 lead women. The only thing that could taint this is that I'm also watching Wonder Egg Priority which absolutely nailed the atmosphere and creepiness with the animation which that I kind of wished Otherside Picnic also possessed.

Quote:
“Daphne and Velma from Scooby-Doo go tromping around the Shimmer from Annihilation and also maybe they wanna smooch each other?”


Someone give Chris a raise for that perfect tagline. Laughing


I am watch both as well, and I think the difference for me is that WEP has Persona vibes, where as Otherside Picnic feels exactly like a cross-breeding of Scooby-Doo and Annihilation. While they have a strange world as their point of similarity (along with maybe Sorao's mentality and mental wellbeing), I think they inhabit different hemispheres in terms of what they are trying to do so far.
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dm
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:51 pm Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:
So far, I like the show especially the solid chemistry of our 2 lead women. The only thing that could taint this is that I'm also watching Wonder Egg Priority which absolutely nailed the atmosphere and creepiness with the animation which that I kind of wished Otherside Picnic also possessed.


Hypothesis: almost everyone watching Otherside Picnic is also watching Wonder Egg Priority. (But I don't think it goes the other way.)

I actually like the animation style used in Otherside Picnic --- it reminds me a lot of the way I remember Boogiepop Phantom looking, except I think Otherside Picnic is succeeding in being creepier, at least with some of its haunts. I think the wiggle-waggle was pretty good, as was the siren at the end of episode two; the big-heads, not so much --- they could have used more digital static. I think they'd do well to make the monsters fit in with the glimpses we get through Sorao's blue eye --- grainy, weird colors, like the onset of a visual migraine.

Also, I agree, Chris deserves kudos for his one-line summary of Otherside Picnic.

The comparison to Annihilation is also good (but then, I thought Annihilation was a better adaptation of Roadside Picnic than Stalker was).
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Lobokendo



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:49 pm Reply with quote
Silverado. wrote:
Quote:
show is already having trouble remembering to depict Sorao's mismatched eye (unless there's a detail about her hiding it under a color contact sometimes that I missed)

Yes, she uses a color contact sometimes, but I don't think it was mentioned in anime.

It will be mentioned in the anime, the original episode got in the way of when it would more naturally have been brought up in the story. Probably next episode.
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vonPeterhof



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:21 am Reply with quote
Just a slight correction, Roadside Picnic was written by the brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, not "Arkady and Strugatsky" as it currently says in the article.
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Agent355



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:54 am Reply with quote
Really enjoying this anime! The dynamic between Sarao and Toriko is fantastic (although I kinda hate that Sarao is already acting as if she’s jealous of Satsuki, even if she doesn’t realize why every time Satsuki is mentioned her mood goes in the gutter.) I’ve never heard of Roadside Picnic or it’s various adaptations, so it’ll be interesting to learn about a sci-fi classic, too.
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dm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:35 pm Reply with quote
I'll be interested to hear what people who haven't read the novels think of episode four. It seems to me they're leaving out details. This might make the series confusing without the novels as background, which is too bad, if true. The biggest one is Sorawo's contact lens to disguise her new heterochromia, but also spoiler[the village of plant-people scene was awfully abbreviated, and seemed to be missing part of the setup from Sorawo's first visit to Toriko's apartment.]

On the other hand, I think they telegraphed spoiler[what was going on with the three otherworld visitors at Kozakura's door] pretty well.

I continue to enjoy the series, but I worry that I'm able to because, having read the first few novels, I'm able to fill in details that are missing from the show.
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darkchibi07



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:18 pm Reply with quote
I guess this week's episode explains why Kozakura doesn't go out to these adventures. Laughing

Taking from my perspective who never read the novels, I admit there were some creepy aspects I wished they were explained, but I didn't really mind the creepy for the sake of creepy; that jump scare with the eye was rock solid. I wonder if this will be the anime adaptation's approach with using these creeps-of-the-week being used mostly as a vehicle to get Sorawo and Toriko closer and actually have a romantic payoff near the end.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:59 am Reply with quote
The front door people, eye and face scare was a pretty good use of creepy.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:09 pm Reply with quote
Ep4 dropped another interesting tidbit along with those in about every episode that had me wondering before the reveal to confirm my suspicions. Namely, that Otherside is a "pocket dimension" and what is seen is a construct projected into the minds of people who enter to create an illusory "reality" by the telepathic denizens. I also suspect some space-time warping ability is also at play because they opened a portal at Kozakura's house and might be able to do the same anywhere as in the appearances of "Space-time Man". I know the original story had proposed that this only happened within "zones" but if that is the case here, then the zone is either large or there are many scattered.
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dm
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:15 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
.... that Otherside is a "pocket dimension" and what is seen is a construct projected into the minds of people who enter to create an illusory "reality" by the telepathic denizens. I also suspect some space-time warping ability is also at play ...


Episode two had already hinted, and episode five makes clear that the spatial mapping between the Otherside and this world isn't "to scale". Openings that are far apart in our world may be close together in the Otherside (and perhaps vice-versa).

In episode two, after encountering Lady Hasshaku in an Otherside building they'd walked to, Toriko and Sorawo emerge at a rural shrine that requires a bus and train to get back in town. In Episode five they encounter some people who entered the Otherside about 1000 miles away from Tokyo.

As to "illusory reality created by the telepathic denizens", we will likely learn more about ideas like this.

Since we're on episode five of (I assume) twelve, I don't think we're going to get any further than the end of the second novel (if that far). Six novels have been released in Japan.
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datura_fairchild



Joined: 02 Feb 2021
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 5:49 pm Reply with quote
While I am generally enjoying the Otherside Picnic anime, there's plenty here that is a bit frustrating as a fan of the novels. Most obviously is the fact that this episode would've been episode 3 in its original order. Which makes it make a lot more sense that spoiler[they brought along Hasshaku's hat]. The rest of the episode feels stretched because it's being split into multiple parts... but I sure would've appreciated it if they had left the original order and let Time Space, and a Middle-Aged Man be a two-parter instead of cutting the first half so short. Otherwise, this still has some of my favorite monsters. Sadly, I felt like some of the tension was lessened from what seemed to be budgetary concerns. Lots of shots of them running, shots of the monsters, but like, it's hard to get a sense of where they are in relation to each other, but that does make it cheaper to animate.

What I'm more disappointed about is a trend towards toning down the scarier or at least creepier elements of the novels. The Otherside at night isn't JUST scary because you encounter more monsters (though there is that), spoiler[in the novels, instead of being dead silent like the daytime, at night you're surrounded by sounds that could be animals or voices, which makes it even more difficult to tell if what's there is a monster that wants to kill you or just the Otherside screwing with you. Also the illegibility of text from the surface world is one of the markers of entering the creepy interstitial space, and this would've been a good time to establish it, but it was sort of ignored.]

I'm still enjoying the anime, I just would've made some different choices and it's a bit frustrating to read impressions that include confusion or annoyance over elements that weren't an issue in the novels and could have been resolved with a line of dialogue or two.
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