「萌えるお世話係」 (Moeru Osewa-gakari)
“Moe Caretaker”

Racism, illiteracy, and servant abuse are just a few of the problems Shinichi has already encountered, with more quickly on the way.

We’re Not In Tokyo Anymore

This show has comedy and moe, that’s for sure, but what’s really drawing me in is the interplay between those elements and the more serious sociological, political, and cultural themes they’re playing with. This was thrown into stark relief – both for Shinichi and for us – with his realization of how servants are treated in this world. Before that Shinichi undoubtedly knew that the Holy Eldant Empire was different, but it was an innocuous difference, more like visiting a magical world in an anime than truly living there. Now the truth has really sunk in. This world not only contains elves and magic, but an entirely different culture with cultural mores that are not only foreign, but repulsive to his own ethics. Myuseru might be moe sometimes, but when looked at through the lens of the culture she lives in

Backwards Culture

Which brings me to a sociological question this show brushes up against. What do you think – are some cultures better than others? I’m not talking about how fans of rival sports teams will insist that their team is better, or innocuous matters like having a more widely used language or a different style of BBQ sauce; what I mean is, are some cultures objectively better based on the cultural mores they possess? I’m told that many experts try to avoid labeling different cultures as better or worse, and instead merely explore how they’re different.

I disagree.

Take the Holy Eldant Empire and modern-day Japan. Japan’s culture is clearly the superior of the two because, among other things, the Japanese don’t beat their servants, force children to become soldiers, and whatever racism exists in that country today – and I don’t think there’s a country on this planet that is completely immune to that particular scourge – it’s not so overt as to have even a sympathetic character indulge in heinous bigotry. I don’t throw stones here lightly because I won’t claim my own culture is peerless, but compared to a the Holy Eldant Empire, yeah, they’re worse. I can say that unequivocally.

Which is awesome, from a storytelling point of view. The collision of these two cultures is already fascinating to watch, especially with a main character who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Though I’m not sure being turned down because you’re an otaku is anything like what Myuseru endures as a matter of course. No matter, at least he did the right thing.

Illiterate Consumers

The big challenge ahead of Shinichi is undoubtedly the population’s overwhelming illiteracy. It will be interesting to see how he manages this obstacle to his given goal of spreading otaku culture, because while there are some elements that don’t so fundamentally require a mastery of language – video games, for example – those have other problems, like it being damn near impossible to spread electronics to a medieval-level civilization without an electricity grid. With the translation rings not working on anything but spoken language, manga is the best conduit to spread the Word of Moe, but if no one can read it…

Well, time to get some Japanese lessons going, or teach everyone Eldantese (or whatever their langauge is) and hire a bunch people to translate everything. Hey, that could even help Japan with that whole recession thing. Two birds with one stone!

Looking Ahead

In addition to finding some stories that could really resonate with the Eldant people, it looks like the subterfuge and intrigue are about to ramp up. I can’t wait!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Racism, illiteracy, & servant abuse are a few of the problems Shinichi has encountered. This is more than moe…but it’s that too! #ob_c 02

Random thoughts:

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Beer does the spirit good, Convenient, The four levels of consuming art, and Realism in fiction is overrated.

Full-length images: 2, 20, 25, 32.




    1. Agreed. I don’t think he thinks it’s in any way equivalent either, but it only takes a taste of that kind of injustice to want to stand up to it in the future. If you’ve the wherewithal to do it, that is.

    2. Kanou Shinichi earned my respect when he defended Myuseru. More respect was earned when he was able to control himself and not hit the princess but instead calmed down and defended themselves in a peaceful manner. I salute him.

      And Myuseru, I fell in love with her more. <3

    3. Totally gonna ship the Myuseru x Shinichi boat here. I find her character just terrific and perfect for Shinichi. That and I think there is a touch of romanticism in a master x servant relationship. She’s better than the spoilt loli princess anyway. 😛

  1. Haven’t really seen much anime to know all those references, I’ve only seen from 30 recent series so far….Which means I only know what I know.
    So let’s play the guessing game.
    (pertaining the screenshot with 32 references https://randomc.net/image/Outbreak%20Company/Outbreak%20Company%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2011.jpg)

    I’m only filling in those I’m sure of.
    All numbering within rows starting from the left.
    Hope a true otaku helps me out with the rest 🙂

    1st row: 1st?, 2nd?, 3rd?, 4th?, 5th?, 6th Nyaruko, 7th Saber, 8th?
    2nd row: 1st?, 2nd?, 3rd?, 4th Little Busters, 5th Rozen Maiden, 6th, 7th, 8th Magi
    3rd row: 1st?, 2nd? 3rd Minami-ke, 4th?, 5th?, 6th?, 7th Shingeki no Kyojin, 8th?
    4th row: 1st?, 2nd?, 3rd?, 4th Railgun S, 5th?, 6th?, 7th?, 8th Girls Und Panzer

    In a different screenshot:
    Hataraku Maou Sama & Hatsune Miku references.

    Speaking of Hataraku Maou Sama, btw guys, it got voted among the top 10 by the Japanese :3
    MAL info: http://bit.ly/17020PR
    Original source: http://bit.ly/1624HiS

    1. I’m a bit rusty on some, but here you go.

      From L=>R, Top to Bottom:

      1) Strike Witches
      2) Tales of [X]
      3) Squid Girl
      4) Strait Jacket
      6) Nyaruko-san
      7) Fate/Stay Night
      8) Yondemasu yo, Azael-san

      9) Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
      10) Da Capo
      12) Little Busters
      13) Rozen Maiden
      15) Gintama
      16) Magi

      17) Oh My Goddess!
      18) Mahou Sensei Negima
      19) Minami-ke
      20) Hunter x Hunter
      21) Mayo Chiki?
      23) Shingeki no Kyojin
      24) Kara no Kyokai

      25) To Love-ru
      26) Kiss x Sis
      28) Railgun
      29) Joshiraku
      30) K-ON
      31) Love Lab
      32) Girls und Panzer

      1. Your count is off. There is 8 per line, not 7, so you skipped at least one each line
        1) Strike Witches
        2) Tales of…
        3) Squid Girl
        4) Strait Jacket
        5) Nagasarete Airantou
        6) Nyaruko-san
        7) Fate/Stay Night
        8) Yondemasu yo, Azael-san

        9) Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
        10) D.C. (Da Capo)
        11) Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon
        12) Little Busters
        13) Rozen Maiden
        14) ? Canvas ?
        15) Gintama
        16) Magi

        17) Oh My Goddess!
        18) Mahou Sensei Negima
        19) Minami-ke
        20) Hunter x Hunter
        21) Mayo Chiki ?
        22) Ookiku Furikabutte
        23) Shingeki no Kyojin
        24) Kara no Kyokai

        25) To Love-ru
        26) Kiss x Sis
        27) Kuroko no Basuke
        28) Railgun
        29) Joshiraku
        30) K-ON
        31) Ore no Imouto 2
        32) Girls und Panzer

      2. I’m really not sure about number 14 though.
        The Kanji seems to be 彩 (sai), meaning colouring/paint/makeup. That’s why I thought Canvas.
        It sounds similar to Saki though, so Greg might be right.
        And the picture seems to be cooking related.

    2. Okay, somebody on MAL could read the parody names…

      Here you go, the parody names in romaji:
      Straight Witches
      Tail Off
      Shinryaku! Tako-musume
      Strike Jacket
      Ma ga sashite Airantou
      Haiyoru! Nyanko-san
      Fale/Ston Knight
      Yandemasen, Aa-san
      Namiuchigiwa no Rurumi-san
      Kaigansen no Horizon
      Little Biters
      Aa… Amako-sama
      Mahou Seito Negito
      Fender x Fander
      Mayukichi !?
      Chiisaku Furinuite
      Shingeki no Kyojin
      Tsuki no Kyoukai

      Though I only recognise 10/32 even with the romaji given..

      Btw, the manga that Myuseru (maid) was reading is a reference to an actual manga.
      Show Spoiler ▼

    3. 1st row: 1st Strike Witches, 2nd Tales of ~, 3rd Shinryaku! Ikamusume, 4thStrike the blood(? not sure), 5th idk, 6th Haiyore! Nyarukosan, 7th Fate series, 8th Yonndemasuyo Azazel-san
      2nd row: 1st Namiuchigiwa no muromisan, 2nd D.C.(? not sure), 3rd Kyoukai senjou no Horizon, 4th Little Busters, 5th Rozen Maiden, 6th Saki, 7th Gintama, 8th Magi
      3rd row: 1st Aa Megamisama, 2nd Mahou sensei Negima 3rd Minami-ke, 4th HunterXHunter, 5th Mayochiki(? not sure), 6th ookiku furikabutte, 7th Shingeki no Kyojin, 8th kara no kyoukai
      4th row: 1st To Love-ru, 2nd Kiss sis, 3rd Kuroko no baske(I think), 4th Toaru kagaku no Railgun, 5th Joshi raku, 6th K-on(I think), 7th Ore-imo, 8th Girls Und Panzer

      Someone please fill/check the rest

    4. 1st row: 1st:strike witches, 2nd: Mahou Kishi Rayearth (i think), 3rd:Ika-musume, 4th?, 5th?, 6th: Nyaruko, 7th: fate/stay night, 8th: yondemasu azael-san

      2nd row: 1st?, 2nd?, 3rd?, 4th Little Busters, 5th Rozen Maiden, 6th, 7th: Gintama, 8th Magi

      3rd row: 1st: Aa! megami-sama, 2nd: mahou sensei negima 3rd; Minami-ke, 4th?, 5th?, 6th?, 7th Shingeki no Kyojin, 8th?

      4th row: 1st: To Love-ru, 2nd: kissxSis, 3rd?, 4th Railgun S, 5th: joshiraku, 6th: K-on, 7th:?, 8th Girls Und Panzer

      alot of overlapping in what we knew, still miss haruhi

    5. Wow so many references. I did notice a few while watching (including maou-sama poster)…but all of it…amazing. it reminds me of haiyore nyaruko-san. I hope outbreak company won’t turn to only “spot the reference” cause it has so much potential aside that.

      anyway, you’ve all missed the reference for Hajime no Ippo:

      Credit to my friend, Ame (that’s his nickname)

  2. As you pointed out they seem to be putting the cart before the horse with this cultural outreach. The Empire need to go through an industrial revolution to produce the type of society that might be amenable to otaku culture. Introduce the concepts of mass production and modern economics/science before trying to explain what “moe” is.

    1. It’s not necessarily that they’re trying to put the cart before the horse, but rather the Eldant royals saw the cart and thought it looked pretty neat, without realizing the horse was required to properly enjoy the cart. Japan is just doing what so many foreign (and more highly developed) countries have done throughout history; give a less developed country what they want in exchange for what THEY (the Japanese) want, regardless of what’s best for said less developed country.

      Every nation is in it for themselves. This version of Japan is no different, and they’ll give the Holy Eldant Empire manga instead of medicine if that’s what they want.

      1. Which begs the question, what does Japan want from Eldant? Perhaps magic or some other sort of unobtanium… or maybe oil lol.

        I wonder how the Eldant military would stack up against Japan’s. My guess is not very well even with magic.

      2. Th-those bastards! The international community will not stand for a Japanese monopoly on half-elf maid waifu’s!

        On a more serious note, I wonder if they’ll address interdimensional immigration in the future…

      3. @Hochmeister: Th-those bastards! The international community will not stand for a Japanese monopoly on half-elf maid waifu’s!

        LOL. Either that or Japan will be faced with serious immigration problems XD.

        On the more “serious” side, my question is what about a potential “monopoly” on magic. That’s something which could easily cause massive global change.

      4. Japan might not even know what they want from Eldant yet. What they do know is that they currently have a monopoly on contact with another world, one which contains magic and, perhaps more critically, land, resources, and potential customers. Wanting to buddy up to them is only natural, even if they only decide what they want out of the relationship later on.

  3. You do realize that by spreading literacy, even in a foreign language, to the oppressed lower classes, he is very likely going to cause the collapse of their current society? And that’s not even getting into how they’ll be influenced by the content of the manga he’ll be exposing them to, and his ideas on social reform (no beating your servants, kids need free time to read manga and play games, no slavery, no forced military service, etc…). You can’t go in and change one thing that affects such an enormous percentage of their population, and expect it to not cause other sweeping changes on their society.

    1. Oh, I’m quite aware, and I think every Japanese character we’ve come across so far (save for probably Shinichi) realizes the same thing. If they let him go ahead with such a thing, it’ll be in the full knowledge of that fact. It’s a dangerous move from a geopolitical standpoint, but if they can get the newly rising Eldantese people beholden to them…

      Well, we’ll see which path they take.

    2. @Wanderer:

      You raise a lot of good points. Shinichi is between the proverbial rock and hard place. Some form of language education is absolutely necessary at the very minimum – otherwise, all his potential customers can do is look at the pretty pictures (anime or manga, and forget entirely about LNs). Shinichi realizes this though I think really his primary motivation stems from the feelings of injustice he has towards Eldant society rather than any sales goal.

      STRICTLY from a monetary/exporting goods point of view, the question I have is to what degree is mass education necessary. If the nobles hold say 90% of the entire nation’s wealth, then (again ignoring all moral/ethical issues) really all he has to do is either hold Japanese classes for the nobles or have some people in Japan learn the Eldant language and start making translated (manga/LN) or subbed/dubbed (anime) versions.

      Getting back more towards what you posted, clearly Shinichi is walking a thin and dangerous line here. Without question mass education brings about massive societal change which potentially could result in it collapsing entirely. Even if the empire’s society is simply in a state of disarray, a rival empire/kingdom/etc. could take advantage of the discord. Of course that’s IF he actually got that far. The ruling class is not going to take kindly to overt changes which threaten their position.

      IMO, the key to it all is getting the nobility to accept the idea of change and then the specific changes. The way Shinichi handled Petrarca when he stopped her from berating Myuseru was a good start. Tying into some of what I posted elsewhere, rather than say something like “Stop that you ******* barbarian!”, he deftly defused the situation by not only making the issue personal, but then going on to suggest understanding his culture’s viewpoint is “required” to fully enjoy manga etc. I think the latter ploy will turn out to be an effective, albeit surreptitious, method of changing the nobles/ruling class viewpoint – starting with the empress herself. I’m sure not all nobles will agree (have to have some conflict here for the show), but starting at the top definitely isn’t a bad idea.

    1. I’v posted my response up there, but I’ll point out the inconsistencies here.

      Scrapped Princess > Tales of
      The World God Only Knows > K-ON
      and I can assume that the GuP tag was misplaced 😛

      1. The text for the top-row, second image refers to “Tales of…”, however the image is directly from a promo picture for Scrapped Princess. Also, it should be noted that the author of the Outbreak Company light novel, Ichiro Sakaki, also authored Scrapped Princess.

  4. I think you went too far and too deep in that culture talking . it’s not about better society or how much different their cultural stuff. it’s about values..for us, humans, who are perceived as the most “enlightened” creature in nature..shouldn’t accept racism and slavery. damn I sound like a preacher for god sake, I may vomit. forget it. I hope you got what I wanted to say. forget it if you don’t.
    and don’t think there is a “superior” culture somewhre. it’s about “mentalism” and perception. each culture has its own perception and mentalism, people and mores and stuff..for them it’s only natural cause they have been educated for that, while to other it might not seem that bright. or it has aspects of superiority in front of others but also has some “disadvantages”.

    anyway..I don’t want to wander in that realm of philosophy too much (no offence). I want to enjoy the episode. and that’s what I did (I hope you did too despite all that..stuff. maybe it’s the beer LOL now I understand what’s going on). and… it was good episode and pace. story and characters have established well in that the episode and create an interesting opening for the next times. a lot of references…I’ll be damned. but the good news is that anime is indeed passed the test and now can be nominated as “surprise of the season” maybe the year. definitely sleeper potential, and now they must express the whole potential cause there’s a lot.

    correct me if I am wrong..but I sense it’s not going to be your penultimate post of outbreak company (the last one is final impressions, in other words..I sense you’re gonna post this weekly or at least one extra week 😛 )

    1. I agree with you that there is no “superior” culture, but let me say this.

      It is important to draw a line between a society’s “eccentric culture” to “outright injustice”, lest we halt our progress as a society. Is it right for men to beat their wives because that’s part of their culture? Is it okay for us to kill off an endangered species because it’s part of the local cuisine? Is it fine that we have a system where it’s the norm to beat a slave because it’s part of tradition?

      Where do we draw the line between respecting a cultural difference and enabling change because of an injustice towards life?

      1. I agree (aka the immediate answer is “no” for all those questions).
        I didn;t want to dig up much into it(as I said it would be sound more like I’d be a preacher…and since I don’t…). but that’s exactly why I said it’s a matter of values. equality is the key word, without discriminate due to race, gender and so..that’s the answer for your last question. but let’s test the things a bit differently:
        clearly the values are “above” the so called “culture” cause it’s about basic thing as human beings(not to do all the stuff you’ve asked). that’s one of the reasons it’s connecting so well to otaku culture. because behind all those wonderful stories and stuff, most of the time, there’s an important messages hiding. but the MC didn’t even talk about the messages. he spoke about those values. and the stuff within the stories are based on those values. so it’s firstly values, basic ones. then culture.

      2. We consider it fine to raise livestock, and to kill them and eat them as we please.
        It is easy to consider a moral framework where that is abhorrent (and indeed, many people do follow such a moral framework even in our current culture).
        If you consider it “just” to extend “humane treatment” and “equal rights” to all people, what stops you from extending it to all creatures?

        Then, is a vegetarian culture “better” than our (current) culture?
        If there was an alien race that weren’t omnivores and were fully carnivores, would any culture they possess be definitively “worse” than a vegetarian culture?
        If there was an alien race that required no consumption of other life and instead gathered all required energy from photosynthesis, would any culture we possess be definitely “worse” their their culture?

        To consider “justice” to be an objective thing is, in my view, hubris.
        What’s “right” and what’s “wrong” is entirely subjective, and hence will be coloured greatly by your cognitive framework, which in turn is coloured by your culture.

      3. TL;DR
        We humans are too stupid to be passing judgement on what’s “right” and what’s “wrong”, but we don’t recognise our stupidity, so we’re just going to go right ahead and impose the “right” culture and moral framework on everything that doesn’t follow it.

      4. Well basically what’s right or wrong changes with the times and with the social customs.
        Imagine if you grew up in a world where left handed people were outcasts and treated as inferior. You might look at my example and go “well of course they’re normal people too and we shouldn’t discriminate against them”, but that’s because we grew up in a world that lets us recognize these differences as immaterial and hence acknowledge that it is wrong to prejudice against them.
        But realizing the blatantly obvious is easy (given the date, see the story about Columbus’ egg). What’s interesting is thinking about what we currently take for granted that might be seen as objectionable to an alien society, or even our own future one.

    2. What Zani said. I was drawing a line where certain elements of Eldant culture are manifestly and unequivocally worse than those of contemporary Japanese culture, namely blatant racism, a highly structured social system that includes the regular beating of servants, and to some degree, pervasive illiteracy (though that’s less overtly evil). Local quirks and customs – eccentricities, as Zani said – are a different thing entirely.

      Take the local cuisine as opposed to Japan’s cuisine – there may be advantages or disadvantages inherit in one or the other (especially in regards to environmental impact and health issues), but those aren’t elements that make a culture better or worse. Just different. Beating servants and training children as soldiers to fight in an empire’s wars? That’s a different thing entirely.

      But no worries, this kind of thing is what I really enjoy, so yeah, I loved the episode! And I’ll be continuing with it (with a little help from Zani ^^), so please come back for more later this week~

      1. I am pretty sure you must have missed my reply to Zanibas. well we posted in the same minute after all…
        yet, my reply to Zanibas is valid for you as well (not in a bad manner or something).
        so bottom line – I think it’s more a matter of values than cullture.
        having said that, I may need a correction here – cause surely values are something that already is inside the culture (like when educating). so the values and culture are somehow binded together. for example in some culture values X is much more..apparent, or the culture is based on values X.
        however that’s not the case, because there’s a minimum level for the important values in most of our cultures (I am pretty sure all of them today). and we could see that in the cases which Znibas pointed out.

        I think we are on the same mind here but just…rephrase it a bit differently.
        that’s being said – I’ll wait for next post 😛

  5. Outbreak Company continues to impress this week with a mix of hilarity and seriousness. Last week’s crisis was reversed with a quick application of professional bullshit (seriously, one of the most important real life skills you’ll ever learn), and the loli empress now seems rather attached to Shinichi. However, I get the feeling that she’s not entirely in control of her country…

    Shinichi continues to impress this week, I liked how he reflected on needing to keep his mouth shut and how he’s taking his time to assess the situation instead of rushing in headlong. His genre-savvyieess is quite amusing, trapped between a loli and a well-endowed maid is indeed a good start to a harem! I was incredibly amused that he was reading Attack on Titan to the empress, and with the whole reading antics. That was one hell of a derp face at the end.

    The culture clash was great. It was really hammered home when Brook handed him the club and during their meeting with the kid soldiers. As Stilts said, while none are perfect not all cultures are equal, and our modern culture is clearly superior to Eldant’s medieval-ish society. How do you sell anime or manga to a society where the people are either dirt poor illiterate peasants with no spare time, or snotty nobles whose position is threatened by the more liberal culture? Fortunately the empress is at the age where she can still be “indoctrinated” with a different mindset, and the preview seems to hint at some sort of school setup. But even if they get some of the nobility on their side, it won’t be enough to modernize Eldant. Just look at imperial Russia for a real world example. Eventually Eldant will need an industrial/magical/trade revolution to raise its standard of living to where it can afford Japanese culture, but such revolutions are rarely smooth. Hopefully the show will continue to deal with these themes in the future. Glad you’re picking this up Stilts!

  6. Much as I like this show, I had a problem with Shinichi’s pontificating on how Japan is so morally superior. Beat their servants? How about teachers striking students or masters striking apprentices? Racial? This from the country who had a PM say how his country was better than the US because they weren’t a “mongrel” race, not to mention the treatment of Koreans and native Ainu peoples. And I’ll leave it at that and not go into historical activities. And I’m not implying a moral superiority of my own culture, just that the writer’s could have made the point without ignoring the issues in their own society.

    And a big thank you, Stilts for picking this up. I didn’t think this show was going to be that interesting, but it’s turning out to be one of the better new ones.

    1. Question: Does Japan currently have servants that the masters can abuse with no problems?
      Answer: No.

      Question: What would happen in Japan, if someone beat their employees?
      Answer: The police would get involved, because it is illegal to beat someone.

      Since Shinichi is just a regular guy, from his point of view Japan’s society IS morally superior. And stop bring shit that happened 100+ years ago into present debates. The people who did those things are ALREADY DEAD, and their children, grand-children, etc, are NOT responsible.

      1. I agree with you in that current Japanese culture certainly doesn’t permit such behavior. However, it’s not “shit that happened 100+ years ago” as you suggest. More like 70 or so years ago (WWII) – perhaps even more recent. So there are people still alive from such times (albeit fewer and fewer as days pass). Personally, I didn’t get a hypocritical feeling during that scene, but I think Bear’s point is along the lines of the famous quote: “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”

      2. Quick clarification – by “perhaps[key] even more recent” I mean like something like maybe 10 years more recent (i.e. 60 years or so ago) as it takes time for culture change to truly take wide-spread effect.

    2. Differences in scale. No culture is perfect, but some are clearly better than others. You can’t seriously compare a teacher disciplining a student to a master beating a servant, or an entire racist society to a racist president. Minori pointed out in this episode that Japan has its own class structure. I wouldn’t be so sure that modern Japan will be held up as a shining example of perfection in this show.

    3. Like I said, I don’t claim that any culture is perfect – not Japan’s, not my own, none. There are problems inherit in all of them because they’re made up of human beings, and we’re all flawed creatures. When taking, for instance, any two different first world countries in the world today (Japan and the USA, for instance), I would not claim that either one is better or worse because of the kinds of things that dmonhiro pointed out. Compared to a medieval society where injustice is markedly more rampant? Yes, I can (and will) make that claim.

      In short, no culture is perfect, and pretending otherwise would be both fallacious and dangerous. It’s just that putting a culture that institutionalizes multiple wide-spread and heinous injustices on the same level as a culture that does not would be fallacious and dangerous as well.

      1. @Stilts: Nicely stated.

        One thing I thought the show did very well was bring up the point that for the the Holy Eldant Empire, such behavior is considered not only acceptable, but “normal”. It’s easy to condemn a “less enlightened or morally bankrupt” society, but to consider things from the other side’s perspective shows considerable insight IMO. To be clear, I am NOT in any way condoning such actions or beliefs, but looking at it from Shinichi’s position, I think simply taking a morally superior view – “I’m right, you’re wrong” over simplifies the issue and is ultimately counter-productive. There’s a conflict between absolute and relative perspectives, and I thought Shinichi was wise (surprisingly so) to consider both if he truly wants to have any chance of making a positive change in Eldant culture.

        It’s no different than if Shinichi ended up traveling back in time (insert trope here) to the height of the Roman Empire which had similar social stratification and treatment of slaves. IIRC my history correctly, at that point in time (say 100A.D.), how the Romans acted in that regard wasn’t any different from the rest of the world. I wonder how today’s society (whether global or the country/region of your choice) will be viewed 500 or 1000 years from now.

        Putting sociological pondering aside, the entire discussion does prove one thing to me. The fact that it can spark this type of discussion is IMO one more indication that Outbreak Company is truly a good show. Like I posted before, looking forward to your reviews and interesting post-ep discussions.

      2. Agreed on your last point! (Well, really all of them.) That such a discussion is taking place here is a sign that this is a good show, and it’s exactly why I’m enjoying it so much. There’s storytelling gold here.

        As for the rest of your point, it says something when a sympathetic character like Petrarca is engaging in casual racism, and that their language doesn’t even have a word for equality. These are signs that they’re not bad people, it’s just the system in which they live which has made them into who they are–which is no different from the systems (cultures) which all of us live in. They shape us in ways that may very well look barbaric in a couple hundred years.

      3. And people don’t grasp that I was not equating Japan with the Kingdom in any moral sense. I was complaining about the implication that Japan was home to this perfect society. It has flaws like all do to one degree or another. If Shinichi had made the point that Japanese law is the exact opposite of Kingdom law I wouldn’t have made the comment I did. Even Shinichi realized that his society had “classes”. Now maybe they are going to expand on the theme at some point which would make my comment moot. Possibly even related to the speculation about “what does Japan want?” from the Kingdom.

        Just surprises me how people can read a comment and yet not read it.

      4. Now now, no reason to get all upset. If we mortals didn’t keep continually misunderstanding one another, life would be a lot easier than it is. Unfortunately that’s one bug that’s baked far into the sentient experience, so I’m afraid you’ll have to live with it.

        tl;dr: Just because you thought you said one thing doesn’t mean that others didn’t read another thing. And if enough people made that mistake, you might look to how you said it rather than how everyone else read it. The same is, of course, true of many of the things I say, by the way.

      5. I do not agree with branding one culture as being “better” or “worse” than another. Experts in fields of cultural studies avoid such methods of comparison because it is inherently ethnocentric to do so. They approach the matter from an objective point of view to gain as clear an insight as possible in respect to all the cultures being examined.

        To begin with, the question “are some cultures objectively better based on the cultural mores they possess?” is in and of itself flawed. You cannot brand one culture as being “objectively” better because such a method of comparison is automatically ethnocentric, and therefore subjective. Basically, you cannot expect to arrive at an objective conclusion through subjective reasoning.

        The keyword here is “ethnocentrism”. It is inherently ethnocentric to rank cultures in terms of “better” or “worse”, no matter the cultural aspect being used. This means that just as you cannot objectively say that one culture’s cuisine is better than another, you cannot objectively say that one culture is better than another because it abolishes slavery, because in the end, “slavery” and “cuisine” are cultural aspects that are, objectively, equal in terms of cultural relevance. No matter how cruel or inhumane we perceive a cultural aspect to be, we have to approach it in the same way we approach the more benign cultural aspects if our aim is to be objective. It would be intellectually poisonous not to do so.

        There are good reasons why experts approach the matter in the way that they do. I recommend actually doing research into why such approaches are taken before making assumptions and passing them off as objective conclusions.

    4. Sorry, I knew there would be reactions like this. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not true or is just “ancient history”.

      How about this for facts?

      Corporal Punishment in Schools

      or this

      Corporal Punishment in Sports

      and abuse in companies?
      While this article talks about blacklisting them not the comment about physical abuse at an IT company


      Try googling Racism in Japan also.

      True it’s not official policy of the government, but it’s there and even though the “character” in the story would probably been oblivious to it, the writers should be.

      1. And what? You’re telling me that things like that happen only in Japan? Take a trip to Russia, and tell me how things get settled there. Google North Korea, and some parts of China as well. And don’t get me started on companies abusing workers, cause I’ve got a contnent and a half of that.

      2. @dmonhiro

        Try reading what I said in context.

        My point was that Shinichi was making claims that Japan didn’t have equality or abuse problems which my references show are not true. Did you even bother to read them? And I specifically made the point:

        And I’m not implying a moral superiority of my own culture,

        Yes, Japan is still light years better than the Kingdom (and probably the vast majority of other countries), but his claim is no more true than if I said there was no racism in the US even though it’s illegal. If he had said that Japanese law states the exact opposite of what their laws were I would have had no problem with what he said.

        Oh, and I said physical abuse of apprentices not servants. It even shows up in anime and manga (ex: Hanasuka Iroha). And as you can read, if you bother, some companies do physically abuse their employees and don’t get arrested.

      3. That’s true, but there’s one big difference: it’s not normal. Nobody in Japan is going to tell you that abusing your assistants, for example, is normal. You’re not going to say that you beat your assistant, and expect people to agree with you. If you tell your friend that you kicked the shit out of your assistant for being late, unless your friend is a douche who does the same, he’s not going to want to be your friend anymore.

        However, in this world, it’s normal, and even expected that masters beat their servants. It’s no normal that Bluk actually told Shinichi how to beat him. It’s so normal, people don’t even know it shouldn’t be.

        So yes, Japan’s society IS morally superior to this one, since any abuse that happens is not considered normal by the other members of society.

  7. The first episode was good, but for me the second episode was noticeably better. My one real concern after EP 01 was that the show would turn out to be essentially one (very) long running series of otaku jokes. That concern is utterly erased by EP 02. Of course there were still funny moments, but as Stilts noted, also some serious and even a few touching ones as well. EP 02 proved to me that Outbreak Company is by no means a one dimensional show, and IMO, all the better for it.

    The other thing that impressed me was that the different elements (ex. comedy, etc.) really synced well – going from funny to serious with fluid ease. A well balanced episode and overall great job directing IMO. I was a bit surprised that the “darker” or more “serious” issues were brought up so quickly, yet after some additional thought, doing so could prove to be a very smart move in terms of pacing. Better to introduce them early on than wait until half the season is over and be rushed to provide some sort of half-assed resolution. So far, Outbreak Company proving to be a quality, well planned and well produced show.

    In the previous review, Stilts said the show reminded him of Hataraku Maou-sama! I certainly agree that both shows do a great job with attention to detail and overall presentation. However, the introduction of the “serious issues” (e.g. social stratification, lack of general education, etc.) in a fantasy setting made me think of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. I won’t make any comments as Maoyuu anime, but I am curious to see how Outbreak Company handles these “tougher issues”. I suspect it will do so well.

    I’m definitely in for the season. That doesn’t surprise me since I thought the show would be pretty good. What does surprise me is that I didn’t expect the show to be this good.

    @Stilts: Thanks for picking the show up, I honestly think when the season’s over you’ll be glad you did. I look forward to reading your reviews and some interesting post-episode discussion.

    1. A combination of Hataraku Maou-sama! and Maoyuu done right is a good way to think about this one. It has the attention to detail and the deft hand at switching between comedy and plot of the former, while its particular brand of plot has strong echoes in the latter. A good combination so far!

      No problemo <3

  8. Oh god that loli bitch was annoying. I hate her type of character. When she exploded I really wanted to hit her. I applaud Shinichi for holding back though. It shows a lot of maturity on his part to realize that dumb b*tch was just a creature of her culture/upbringing. Despite the loli being 16 or so years old her mental age is that of a child’s probably due to neglect and/or poor education. asdfasdf rageeee if it was me I’d probably have beat her up and then ruined the political situation hahaha.

    1. It’s probably her intent to be super annoying–she’ll most likely one of the prime indicators of the kingdom’s cultural shift as she goes through some significant character development.

      Or so I hope :P.

      1. Not every revolution is, or has to be like the French or Russian Revolution. I will hope for an alternative, for a non-violent revolution, despite how hard that may be.

        I just hope the show won’t pull a deus ex machina on us to resolve everything!

      2. That kind of turn of events while not impossible, is still unlikely..
        I don’t recall a scriptwriter like Gen Urobuchi being involved in this anime btw. :p

        Though that passing remark about Miusel’s (maid) offensive magic being praised seems to imply/foreshadow that there’ll be a battle scene somewhere in Outbreak Company’s 12 episodes.

  9. OK, I’d like to chime in with definitely “not all cultures are equal”. Even more than different nations, cultures change with time. Less than 200 years ago, slavery was common reality in much of the US, Imperial Japan had feudal system where non-samurai were mere livestock, and even in the much of Europe serfdom was commonplace. No culture is perfect, and there always will be social problems, but the difference between “first world problems” and well, some other places is immense.
    Also, respect for all those who named the series present in the giant anime collage – I managed to recognize only a few.
    The challenge of changing the medieval society to modern… well books and education might be just the key. See “1632” series… Manga is actually a good medium for popularizing science and other “modern” ideas if you look at this from that perspective. Could it be that the idea of using otaku as ambassador is not so crazy after all…

  10. I lost it when they started reading SnK. So may contenders for anime of the year XD.

    I’m glad Shin wasn’t afraid to put his foot down with P…lap loli (her name is hard for me to remember and say in my head lol). That adds points in my book towards being a good main character.

    I also like that they are showing how serious the problems in Eldant are and not trying to use humor to make it seem unimportant.

  11. Regarding the culture argument, I don’t agree that there seems to be a culture that can be objectively better. What I see as a successful culture/society is one that can function to the best of its ability. I don’t know about Eldant’s foreign relations with other empires in its world, but if there is something that necessitates the conscription of children, and it is what allows them to continue to function as an empire in its own right, then so be it. They do put both boys and girls in, so at least that’s sexism out the window.

    The racism here is understandable in its context. I am not in any way saying I agree with it at all, but in this world (or any fantasy world at all, really) it’s easy to see how such strong racial prejudice can surface. Everybody there is constantly dealing with intelligent creatures of entirely different species, we humans find it hard enough to cooperate with people of different skin color and slightly different facial structure alone. Again, if this allows them to continue as a culture/society, and the prejudiced “know their place” (god, I sound like the worst asshole ever) then it’ll just continue as it is. There’s probably a saying about how a person who’s been poor and homeless their whole life wouldn’t know how to deal with or appreciate wealth, or something thematically similar, and while I can’t think of a saying I think it applies here.

    I think a good real-world example for the whole argument about whether or not an element of a certain society serves its function is to look at conscription in Singapore and South Korea. Both have a conscription period of about 2 years. Basic allowance for the lowest rank in Singapore is about US$400 a month, and in South Korea an almost horrifying US$70. However, there is an important difference in their situations. South Korea shares borders with North Korea, that one infamously volatile country that seems ready to spring into war at any moment. Singapore has no such hostile relations, sitting comfortably in peace time, and only holds on to the Enlistment Act out of paranoia and the memory of the Japanese invasion all the way back in World War II. Obviously there are a lot of societal implications where conscription can factor into, but regarding conscription itself, which can be said to be more “functional”?

    Conscription in South Korea is seen as necessary, and anybody who dodges the draft is not only charged, but publicly defamed as well (whether it’s a case of “You should do it, it’s important for the country!”, or “We’ve all got to do it, why can’t you?” I don’t know). In Singapore, however, it is widely known to be dreaded and arguments against it are supported, people who dodge service are envied, and people only really go along with it because the charges for dodging service can be very heavy (can you tell I’m bitter? I’m very bitter). Obviously this can be argued, but my take on this is that South Korea definitely could use conscription more than Singapore does. I’m wholeheartedly against conscription in any way (being legally bound to serve an entity with the alternative being punishment, sounds like slavery doesn’t it?), but where it is useful, I think it’s acceptable.

    That’s my argument, and while it went on quite a bit I hope my point comes across. cool opinons

    1. I think your conscription example is a bit misleading. Conscription is one thing, but conscription of children is another. They are giving them citizenship if they fight though, and it’s even understandable why they would choose to train them as children given the type of society they’re in – I don’t think that fact makes them immoral, just misguided.

      Racism and abusing servants as a matter of course? Nope. Nope nope nope. That’s objectively worse.

      There will never be a culture that is objectively better in all ways. As with people, some cultures are just different, and that’s totally fine. Serial killers are objectively worse people than the majority of every civilization’s citizenry though, and a culture that condones racism and systematic abuse is, at the very least, worse than those that have the decency to be ashamed of such things.

      1. In such a feudal, militaristic society, why is the training of children misguided?
        In an agrarian society, children do chores on the farm. In a commercial society, children take up apprentices in tradecrafts.
        In a “modern” society, children attend schools.
        In all instances, the point of education is to prepare them for their future role in life. If is premise is armed conflicts (rather than some “enlightened” ‘we shall unite the world with peace’), would you want your kid to know how to swing a sword or how to read manga?

        Also while I would agree with your sentiment, I’m afraid your semantics are incorrect.
        You say racism and servant-beating is objectively worse. However it is clearly subjectively worse. Because it is your opinion. In the opinion of the masters and the racists it is better. Hence it cannot be objective.
        I can say objectively that 2 apples is more than 1 apple. But I cannot say that having 2 apples is better than having 1 apple. That is a subjective opinion that would vary depending on circumstance. (I’m sure you can think of examples)

      2. You’re technically right on the semantics, and of course there is very little – perhaps no – moral issue that is not subjective. What you missed was that I was deliberately conflating the two terms because I don’t much consider the opinion of racists when I decide upon my morals. Plus “____ is subjectively worse” doesn’t have as much rhetorical punch, ne? ; )

  12. This show has gone up a degree in my must continue watching list. Very surprised by the focus on cultural differences and how one learns to bridge them over time; I expected more of a running skit of the week where our otaku MC blunders into different situations and somehow comes out of them with a trail of jokes and a new loli for the harem. Definitely whets my history and political science appetite. The humour becomes a means to convey the bridging rather than an end to itself.

    The important thing to remember here is cultural relativity: you cannot view the empire’s culture as worse than Japan’s or ours here in the West. Culture is very much subjective and dependent on the person living in it. The Empire’s citizens for example may see aspects such as serfdom, beating, and a rigid hierarchy as natural while we see them as inherently bad; however, it doesn’t mean we have a right to look down upon them and deliberately try to change their ways. All we can do, which is what I like about Outbreak Company so far, is provide an alternate image, a different way of living that they can adopt if they choose to. Seeing a different example often leads to questioning, which then becomes the catalyst for change. This is the heart of cultural evolution, change and growth from the bottom up, eventually forcing the power structure to convert to the new order.

    The plot in my opinion is likely to revolve not around some massive ubiquitous conspiracy, but rather the attempts to stop Shinichi by some of the Empire’s old order who do not want their current societal system to change. If they can keep up what i’ve seen these past two episodes, consider me sold.

    1. Ahhhh, but that’s exactly what I was saying – I was challenging the consensus view on such things because I think you can judge a culture based upon what is objectively wrong, or even evil. Would you not judge the myriad of cultures our own planet has at one time possessed who kept slaves? That is objectively worse.

      Now, as far as affecting change in the empire, you’re right and looking down upon them and trying to force change upon them won’t do the trick. That doesn’t make those facets of their culture right though, and I won’t excuse them. Not any more so than I will excuse most people for accepting the social mores of the culture they were raised in, which as I say that, is in fact quite a lot. I have a lot more sympathy for individuals than I do the greater culture though. Individuals might own only a small part of the blame, but that doesn’t make it right.

      I kind of rambled there. Looking forward to more comments from you over this season!

      1. I agree we can judge in the framework of our own culture, but we have to be careful in trying to establish moral authority of our system. Often the other side views their beliefs and traditions in a similar manner as we do ours, it’s part of the reason why such an immense gap exists, for example, between parts of the Muslim and Western worlds: some people will never surrender what they consider to be absolute. Culture is often the result of both time and circumstance; thinking evilly for a moment it could be argued that slavery is as much a consequence of economic reality as it could be human nature, and that the only reason it is vilified is due to the current dominance of Western thought. That, however, is too big of an argument here to delve into here 😛

        This is why I think it’s interesting how Outbreak Company has focused firstly on the cultural chasm because unless one travels abroad it is something which often never enters one’s thoughts. We are too wrapped up in our own system to imagine something different may exist elsewhere.

      2. We must be careful, yes, absolutely so. We also must be careful to understand why a culture is like it is, for it might be understandable even if it is reprehensible. Claiming moral superiority is not something that should ever be done quickly, not until after a lot of empathy has been employed.

        That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done at all, though. Most things are negotiable, but some things are not, and on those things, we ought to call them like they are.

        Man, I’m loving this show ^^

      3. Although determining which things are negotiable depends on if you see certain things as being inherent to nature or not. That topic, however, would first require arguing about moralistic and existential nihilism 😛

        Strange anime to be discussing philosophy and metaphysics over, that’s for sure. Who knew the otaku mind would stimulate discussion on the human condition.

  13. On culture, Yeah, the empire is bad. Thing is the writers went a bit too far in making them as bad as possible (YMMV of course) that it come off as cartoonish and/or caricature. It make it hard to take it seriously. Also, Shinichi supposedly angry+scary face there is just a failure on the animator’s part (seiyuu too).

    1. I don’t feel they went to far on making the empire look bad; people forget that a little more than 300 years ago if a non-aristocrat learned to read in Europe they could be beaten or executed, as could whomever taught them.

      1. What Mike said. All characters we’ve seen so far have been fairly sympathetic; they’re merely painting the picture of a country more like those we had everywhere here on earth a few hundred years ago…and in some places even still today.

      2. I don’t forgot. It just feel rather forced to me. I’m not sure I can express this right since I just go with what I’m feeling here. Maybe with this analogy: There are people IRL who are actually do ‘evil for evil’s sake’ or ‘just want to see the world burn’ things. There are also good-written fictional villains who do those things. And then there are villains who are written doing those things and end up feeling cartoonish or caricatural.

        Happens in the real world != good writing
        Sympathetic != not bad

        That knight-what-his-name in the beginning, for example just came off as an idiot.

        This maybe or maybe not related to the whole ‘bad culture’ thing aqnd why we should be careful in passing such judgement, especially when writing stories. Write off some cultural aspect as bad and you could lose all respect in portraying it, resulted in simplistic or caricatural depiction.

    1. I agree there are definite similarities to be found between the series. Will have to see if Outbreak is as smart and understanding though. It’s fine to look at another society and see things that are abhorrent, it’s another to find a way to change things without reaching the worst possible resolution.

      Is it fine to try and force all those changes and lead to a bloody revolution that could then lead to this Empire being invaded in it’s moment of crisis? Unless the people of Japan and Earth itself are ready to invade this place and take over things have to be handled cautiously. Which might slightly be beyond the scope of a moe ambassador.

      As to the societal side of things, it’s a tough debate. I think people would agree there are things to them that are objectively wrong. But where that line is drawn might vary from person to person making you wonder how objective it really is anyways.

      While I don’t expect this series to get the chance to go that far I wonder what kind of repercussions getting involved in this Empire society might occur. Say you stamp out the child conscription because it’s wrong. That makes children a less valuable resource which might lead to having less kids or any number of repercussions.

      Of course as much as you can politely disagree with Stilts position. Values and morales are pretty relative depending on the time. And if there are any absolutes they are incredible minimalistic. In a thousand years who knows how the positions of various societies will have shifted. All we can do is work with what we have right now.

      1. As an American, let me just say that if Japan or Earth wants to go about nation building in the Holy Eldant Empire, good luck. I wouldn’t advise it though.

        And you’re right, having these morals and values is something of a luxury brought upon by our easy modern lives, and it’s quite possible that some of what is normal today will be reprehensible in a hundred years or so when humanity is even better off. I’m willing to draw some lines in the sand though. The wisdom of actually trying to change them on fictional-Japan’s part is another matter entirely.

  14. This anime is good. Not in my top 3 list but still a good anime.
    One thing that strikes me as odd in terms of execution though. The scene where Shinichi gets angry at Petrarca for being a bitch. this scene, https://randomc.net/image/Outbreak%20Company/Outbreak%20Company%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2030.jpg
    He should have silently stare at her with an angry face instead of going “PE-TO-RA-RU-KAA”. I think that would give more impact that he is angry.

  15. All they have to do to start change is ask a few questions:

    Why do you feel it is okay to beat a non-noble?
    Are they not the same as you?
    Do they not have emotions, family, desires, etc.?
    Would it be okay to beat a noble who has lost all his wealth and power?
    Can you look at a younger sibling, or your parents and say it would be fine to treat them like dirt if they weren’t related?
    Would you want to be treated like dirt if the roles were reversed?

    “Just because” or “tradition” aren’t answers, but excuses.

    Thing is there are manga that look at the dark side of humanity and ask those questions. Hopefully, Shinichi will use his brain and bring in some of those manga, and not just the moe kind.

    1. I’m sorry, but this is actually a misconception born of COMING from a country with some sense of equality and freedom. In cultures where this sort of thing happens they really, functionally DO think that different people are different. They would not agree that they’re the same if you asked them.

      This would be doubly hard in a fantasy world where the oppressed REALLY ARE a different race. You couldn’t fall back on the ‘we’re all human’ argument, because they’re not.

      This is one of the reasons I’ve never liked that as the basis for kindness. Are we going to start oppressing people if we ever encounter another race? I’ve always believed that you should appeal to the moral worth of kindness itself, rather than this idea that you should be nice to humans. What about animals? What about (possibly) aliens?

      I agree with you that tradition is a dumb excuse, but this solution wouldn’t work on a person who genuinely believes these things. Try it some time on a really hardcore racist person.

    2. I live in Korea currently (till I move to Japan next week) and my wife is Korean, making my in-laws Korean obviously. I can tell you that the racism here is STRONG. And getting through to my in-laws that I was a human worthy of kindness was not done via any form of magic or leading questions. They just don’t care about that stuff.

      The only thing that worked was simply existing in their space, being a decent human being over a period of years, taking care of my nephews and nieces and helping out when my family needed it and being a good husband. And the job is not done. There was no epiphany. I’m just slowing chipping away at generations of accumulated ‘knowledge’ and ‘tradition’ to show them we’re not so different.

      1. Very true, and very common. Logic isn’t as powerful as many of us would like to believe; we humans are emotional creatures (animals), and it’s only by great dent of effort that some logic penetrates our thick skulls. And usually this only happens through a slow grinding down in the face of clear reality.

        Good luck with your continued quest, my friend. Keep being you.

    3. Well why do you feel like eating that hamburger?
      Did you think about the cow that died?
      Does it not have emotions, family, desires?
      Would it be ok if you raised it from a calf?
      How would you feel if you were eaten by some other animal?

      “Just because I can” “Just because I feel like it” are not good reasons…
      So as you see, using your moral compass to judge another’s seems very hypocritical.
      We are all driven by what we see going around us, how we were raised, how we were taught. Sure you can look at an example and claim it’s inferior, backwards, a crime against humanity, etc. But humans have gone through a lot in the past few thousand years, and what’s acceptable and good vs unacceptable and evil have gone through a lot of iterations as well.
      Who knows, maybe in the near future it will be a crime to eat a hamburger.

  16. To the Backwards Culture point.

    I actually studied Anthropology in university so I can give a fairly good sense of where the current thinking stands.

    The simple answer is: no one has any clue anymore.

    Historically Anthropology was a device basically used by Europe to PROVE how superior they were to ‘primitive’ cultures. Then it went into the cultural relativism period (which you reference and which most people think Anthropology is still in) where we don’t say anyone is ‘better’ they’re just different.

    However, eventually we realized that that stance was morally bankrupt. How can you say that throwing acid on women who just want to go to school is just ‘different.’ By any standard of justice (even the standards of the countries where it happens usually) that is unequivocally wrong.

    So Anthropologists were forced to admit that yes, some countries/cultures are just wrong and more evil. The thing is, that’s a really hard distinction to make because where do you draw the line between acid-throwing and different gender roles? This problem has, up to now, basically paralyzed Anthropologists on this issue. They don’t want to judge, but they know sometimes they have to, but when, etc, etc.

    Also, I’m loving the political/social/cultural bent of this show, NOT what I expected when I read the blurb and flipped it on expecting to dislike it.

    1. Good to know! I had heard rumblings of the backlash against cultural relativism, but I’m not plugged into the anthropological scene enough to know where the current consensus really is, so, you know, I made an assumption 😀 The current paralysis is understandable, except they need to stop being so damned scared. What’s it matter if sometimes they disagree? Sometimes there are unequivocal rights and wrongs, while other times (most of the time) it’s gray. Anthropologists just have to accept that and do the best they can.

      Man, I sure am full of the answers today, aren’t I? I better get to sleep so I can get up for work tomorrow. That usually does a good job of puncturing my ego.

      1. Maybe they’re afraid of the slippery slope? Start passing judgment too much and you risk backtracking into the old ‘we are superior’ thinking. Start passing judgment on a certain cultural aspect and it may caused bias on other aspect of the same culture or even the whole culture.

        I think saying ‘they need to stop being damned scared’ is wrong. Fear of being mistaken and self-doubting our ego is necessary to prevent us from slipping too far. Better if you say ‘they need to stop being paralyzed from fear’. Sorry if this sound nitpicky

      2. Point on your nitpicking. I can get rather inflamed in my rhetoric, and that would have been a better way to put it.

        That said, the slippery slope can go to hell. (Haha, there I go again!) But seriously, I’ve always hated the slippery slope argument. People invoke the slipper slope when they say “If we do A, then there’s nothing stopping us from slipping down to communism/fascism/satanism/etc.” The thing they fail to realize is that they can stop any time.

        Let me say that again, because this argument really chaps my ass – we can stop any time.

        Sure, sometimes they might go to far, and they’re wise to be concerned, but being paralyzed into inaction is a decision as well. I’d rather them try to draw the lines, mess up sometimes, apologize, and try again, rather than sitting there arguing over whether they have the right. Every sentient creature has the right to an opinion, in my own humble opinion. Judge away.

      3. But that is my point exactly. You can forgot that you can, or need to stop. That what slippery slope is, the case when people don’t realize that they have gone too far and forgot to stop.

    2. Well I would say the thing to do here is clearly distinguish the science from the policy.
      Researching how different societies live(d) is descriptive.
      Saying how different societies *should* live (because it is better to do so…) is prescriptive.

      A similar field is economics. Economists study the efficient allocation of scarce resources. A general thematic tradeoff is that efficient allocations are not always “fair”. i.e. to generate the largest pie, sometimes that might mean one person gets a piece of the pie and another person does not. You can describe how the pie would change if you reallocated some of it (think taxes), but you’re can’t make the call that this division is “better”, especially if it’s less efficient. That’s the job of the politicians.

  17. Petrarca’s favorite manga is the local version of Kaiji? A taste worthy of true royalty.

    Shinichi sure is lucky to have an influence on the country’s most powerful person: with time, her power is going to be necessary for all the inevitable changes that this cultural exchange will bring. The problem is, even her power might not be enough because of all the other nobles and their interests. And then there’s the prejudice towards this weird and alien culture from a whole different world, which might get even more ugly than the current racism.

  18. @Stilts: Don’t grow your harem any larger than this, Shinichi. It’s perfect how it is.

    Missed this with all the other discussion, but with all due respect, can you really have a harem with just two? I would think three would be the minimum number required to officially qualify as a harem. Even then, someone like Ichika would laugh at such a low number…well, assuming Ichika ever realized he actually had a harem of his own. JMO, but I think Shinichi’s current situation is more akin to a harem starter pack than any true harem.

  19. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel as if we are confusing a nation’s economic system and its culture. One could argue that culture is amoral, but the system of economics is what causes the injustice.


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