「水着の黙示録」 (Mizugi no Mokushiroku)
“The Swimsuit Apocalypse”
“At long last, the beach episode!” -Kanou Shinichi
“I agree!” -Stilts
If I were a lesser writer I would say I lack the words to communicate the marvelous majesty that is Minori, Elbia, Myuseru, and Her Majesty in swimsuits, but I’m not, so I’m going to throw out all the words at once. Wonderful! Beautiful! Sexy! Boing boing! Praise worthy! The stuff of dreams! People would die for lesser treasures, and they would be right to do so! Truly it was a most bountiful harvest in this, the glorious beach episode!!
Stilts has crashed. Rebooting…
The Empress’ New Swimsuit
Perhaps I only say this because it’s late and I’m still rebooting, but I don’t remember Outbreak Company doing the super-hyper-serious-in-a-silly-situation bit before, but they did it here with great aplomb. I loved how they formed a brain trust to decide on the Empress’ swimsuit, where five old bearded dudes immediately had to grapple with their desire to put Petrarca in something fashionable she would like despite her, ahem, potential difficulties at keeping some kinds of swimsuits up. Then going into keeping the empress modest and not lowering her status and all these other silly considerations… Hah!
Perhaps my favorite thing was subtle, which was how the brain trust consisted entirely of old bearded men deciding something that should be decided by women. If such a thing were to happen in real life I would cry foul, but such is the power of well-formulated comedy, because here it was just hilarious!
Actually, no, I take that back–the best part was sukuuru mizugi guy, who was completely implacable in his desire to put Petrarca in a skuuru mizugi. He was ignored, ignored, ignored–and then they realize the awful (wonderful) truth, and he goes full keikaku doori!! That smug son of a bitch! If this were a lesser episode he would have stolen it right there.
Strength In Simplicity
As soon as Roic came running up and revealed that Romilda had gotten shocked, my first guess was that some JSDF people were guarding Shinichi & co. After all, they’re valuable VIPs, right? Plus tasers look markedly different than lightning magic probably would, so there’s that too. After a minute though I dismissed it as being too obvious.
And perhaps that’s the genius of Outbreak Company more than anything else. A lesser show couldn’t get away with such an obvious plot and come out the other side with people raving about it, but Outbreak can because it executes on everything so very well. And it takes them a step further, such as here with the peeping photos. Those delicious, delicious peeping photos.
Erh, what was I talking about?
As a matter of fact, even the fight had this. I don’t know if it was just because the protagonists could have lost and no one would have been hurt, but I actually found myself more griped by their short scuffle than I have in some shows that are focused entirely on the combat. The story is executed so well that everything else doesn’t have to be out-of-this-world amazing to make the show overall fantastic. And the funny thing? If the story were some stellar and innovative, they probably wouldn’t be able to execute to this level. It takes experience after all, and Sakaki-sensei has plenty of that.
Mea Culpa – Plot Time
I have one other thing to say about Sakaki-sensei’s storytelling, and it’s a mea culpa of sorts. I think I’ve made a grave error in some of my previous posts. I kept wondering when the plot was going to kick in, but when I think back on all the things that have happened since this show started, I realized something important. Its been going all along. The characters and their situation have changed so much since the story started, it just all happened quietly when we were focused on other things.
The thing is that Outbreak Company doesn’t have a stark demarcation between plot and not-plot like in so many other anime, and that’s because it’s written really, really well. It’s seamless, where the small events add up to great shifts without having to have a shift into high-plot gear. That can still happen and it would be okay, but it’s not necessary; what we’re getting is moving the story forward well, and it’s a damn treat to watch every. single. week. I can’t ask for more than that.
Shinichi x Myuseru Get-o!
What could have been all fluff and comedy, but we got a little romantic development as well. Shinichi earned serious points in my book for telling everyone to come back alive – he doesn’t consider himself any more important and wouldn’t want them to die for him, so well done – but best was him trying to save Myuseru to avoid seeing her hurt again. Sure he’s got the combat strength of a terminally ill green slime, but it’s the thought that counts, and when it ends teary grateful Myuseru…hnnng!! The Shinichi x Myuseru ship is sailing nicely!
Back to my point about strength in simplicity, I’ve may have said it a hundred times but I’m going to say it again – it’s the shows that are willing to use less that are going to excel, and to me nothing is better than the proper use of silence. They had almost a full ten seconds of no sound when Myuseru had her wardrobe malfunction (OH GODS Myuseru’s oppai oh man Shinichi you lucky doggg!!), all just to rub in the delightful awkwardness! Pile that onto how they were playing in the water so awkwardly earlier and theirs is just a delightfully pure new romance. It gives me diabetes every time I watch…and I love it!
Bonus points: Myuseru actually has enough respect for herself to get embarrassed and freak out when someone sees her naked unexpectedly. She really is starting to think less like she’s, well, lesser, and more like she’s a mortal with rights and dignity. That warms my heart to see.
Looking Ahead – Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Petrarca
Mahou Shoujo Petrarca? Bring it. Bring it so hard I won’t know what to do with myself. This show is amazing every single week, seriously!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – “At long last, the beach episode!” I agree! Swimsuits & love & a hilariously serious brain trust, oh my! #ob_c 09
- I love that justified Male Gaze (trope!). Finally I can lean back and ogle without guilt.
- I wonder, did Minori ask Shinichi to put oil on her back because she wanted to see how Myuseru would react, or just because she wanted sunbathe? At first I was thinking the former, but that never developed, so she probably just needed some help. Notice I don’t mention anything about Shinichi going down the Minori route. I truly do not think that will happen, and if it ever does I’m prepared to be very, very disappointed. 2-3 girls is enough, there are plenty of other guys for Minori.
- Myuseru you’re doing it wrong oh my. That’s adorable.
- I’m surprised that chairman didn’t get shanked on the spot for trying to throw the others under the bus and then taking credit for their “accomplishment”. Once again I didn’t care though, because damn was it funny!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: What I’m thankful for, On writing fast, writing well, One short story, one week – buzzer beater, and Writing challenge – one short story, one week.