「深く静かに陰謀せよ」 (Fukaku Shizuka ni Inbou Seyo)
“Plot Silent Plot Deep”

And so Shinichi is marked for death amid a round of applause.

Addiction & Control

This story is brilliant. Many viewers have been wondering for a while when the plot would kick in, but the truth is that it’s been here all along. Like I said back in Episode 09, this show doesn’t have stark demarcation between plot and not-plot like in so many other anime because the plot was quietly working behind the scenes the whole time. All those comedic hijinks? They were plot of a sort, because the more the Eldantese were pulled into otaku culture, the more they became addicted to it, giving the Japanese government a measure of control. Here the comedy wasn’t just for lulz. It was important.

The Japanese Government’s Big Mistakes

Props to the Japanese government and the JSDF – their plan wasn’t bad. The idea of using culture instead of guns and missiles isn’t a new one; in fact, it’s one some countries on Earth still try to use today. It was also supremely well-suited for what could have been a costly and damaging war with a country whose military capabilities aren’t well understood and which they weren’t sure they could effectively counter. Why get into a war for resources when you’re not sure you can win? Ignoring the fact that getting into a war for resources is boneheaded in the first place.

They made mistakes, though. Their chief mistake was bringing in someone in the critical role who hadn’t bought into the plan. Yes Shinichi’s enthusiasm made him an excellent missionary, and yes he is an unimportant nobody and therefore expendable, but they put him in the driver’s seat and gave him the opportunity to gather power among the Eldantese he met, which he did. With the personal support for the Supreme Ruler and a damn lot of the Eldant people, Shinichi wields enormous power to thwart their plans, so they should have made sure he would never use it before ever risking him getting it. Why risk a wildcard like Shinichi when Minori was right there? Sure it worked better with both of them there, but they should have gotten their agent’s buy in before he got in position to destroy their plan.

Their second major mistake? Once they already had Shinichi in place, they shouldn’t have told him the plan. What are they, Republic serial villains? Why risk him doing exactly what he did when you don’t have to! They should have stretched out the excuses for the shortages for as long as possible, and then quietly made Shinichi disappear before he could ruin everything. Why weren’t they building replacements for Shinichi all along? They gave too much power to an unknown element, so it’s no surprise it blew up in their faces.

By the way, none of these criticisms are leveled at author Sakaki-sensei or at feel and the rest of the anime crew. I’m criticizing the characters, but for these characters to make these mistakes is very, very believable. The government doesn’t understand a goofy subset of society? Yeah, I can see that. They made small tactical errors brought about by systemic organizational blind spots, allowing an individual who can act quickly to get the best of them? Seen it many times. More on this below.

What Japan Should Have Done – Slow, Cultural Power

Japan’s mistakes don’t even factor in how their central strategy was dumb. Enforce a shortage on otaku material to force the Eldantese to give them resources? I don’t see why they bothered with blackmail when the Eldantese would probably have been perfectly willing to buy the same otaku products the Japanese have been sending them for free. Give people a taste and if they like it they’ll buy more – that’s Marketing 101, people. This is the way of the world now. Why plunder when you can buy and sell? Customers are more valuable than colonies, especially since the latter tend to turn out insurgents. It’s largely the same anyway, and there are no bodies to clean up afterwards. Less bodies, at least.

Instead the Japanese should have done exactly what they did – including recruiting someone earnest and truly passionate like Shinichi – up until this episode. Then they should have kept doing that. To get far more materials into the Eldant Empire they absolutely should have sold them, but that’s only proper, and Shinichi would have had no problem with the Eldantese buying what they consume instead of the Japanese government footing the bill. That’s not the most important part, though. How the Japanese were slowly changing the next generation of Eldantese into more culturally Japanese was their greatest weapon, because if they slowly do that then soon they’d have an entire generation in love with Japan! Once again, they ought to be looking for customers rather than plunder, and this would give them that in spades.

Sure, there would be some accounting problems if they suddenly started buying up a lot of manga, anime, and games that appeared to be disappearing into a void – not to mention all the resources used to buy them appearing out of thin air – but if they’re willing to engage in a massive government cover up and execute a few Japanese citizens if they get in the way, a little bribery, accounting fraud, and/or copyright infringement shouldn’t have bothered them. Though personally, I think they should have bought all the otaku materials fair and square – Earth is going to find out about the portal eventually, so why create a trail of crimes? Just cover it up for as long as possible and sink your cultural claws into Eldant as deep as you can. Good faith is far more powerful than aggression, trust me.

The problem with this plan? It’s boring! The most effective plans usually aren’t exciting, which makes for a crappy story. This would have made for a boring climax because there wouldn’t have been a climax, just a slow buildup of advantages for Japan. This is a hard plan to pitch, and one that depends on a lot of marketing-style bullshit like “goodwill”, so I can very much see a government opting for the more clean-cut (though far less effective and moral) plan instead. This combined with the mistakes they made being so believable makes the story work. I’m telling the characters they’re being damn fools, not the creators, and that’s where you want that.

The Villain Jinzaburou

All that said, Jinzaburou makes a good villain. The way he calmly laid it all out was a treat to behold, but best of all was how he dealt with the resistance seen back in Episode 03. Actually creating the resistance would have been the move of a chump, a dangerous move which could be potentially traced back to Jinzaburou and the Japanese government. Not doing anything to stop the resistance that naturally formed? Brilliant. They didn’t have to do anything other than set up the situation where the resistance would occur – a situation they wanted to set up for their own reasons, mind you – and then use it for their own needs. Sure, it could have backfired – Petrarca could have ended up dead instead of Myuseru taking the knife, and a King Garius would have been much less interested in listening to the Japanese after his cousin’s death – but no plan is without risks.

Combine this with how Jinzaburou claims he actually likes Shinichi – and I believe he does – but is following his orders anyway makes him very dangerous, but also very human. To hate and despise Shinichi would have been clichéd, but to like him and do it anyway? He isn’t the first to use “I’m just following orders” to justify his actions.

Shinichi Answers Back

Not that Shinichi is going to have any of Jinzaburou’s bullshit. Which reminds me, the other flaw in the Japanese plan – they gave the Eldantese all the tools to create their own content, so once they pulled the rug out from under them, that’s exactly what they would do. Maybe not immediately, and maybe Japan would have gotten some good resources out of them in the meantime, but eventually they would start creating their own, whether by patronage of Petrarca’s government or all on their own. What Shinichi did was accelerate the whole process by helping to develop these artists and by giving Petrarca the idea to encourage more.

Not that Shinichi wasn’t without his own mistakes. While the final moments of this episode were wonderful, with Shinichi staring down Jinzaburou and Jinzaburou silently sentencing Shinichi to death amidst Eldantese applause, Shinichi should have played along like normal for a week or two before quietly giving the idea to the Eldantese. If they came up with it “on their own”, no reason for Shinichi to get in trouble, right? Because now he has a target on his forehead, and I expect his own government to come after him.

Looking Ahead

One more episode, and we’re heading into what looks like an exciting finale. This has been a sneaky series in many ways, but I’ll save my ruminations for the final impressions next week. Until then!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Everything Shinichi has done comes to a head as the government’s real plan is revealed. An Shinichi’s answer–! #ob_c 11

Random thoughts:

  • Just mount him already Myuseru. You know you want your hardworking Danna-sama. She may not know everything about Shinichi, but she knows the most important thing – he’s a kind man. So seriously, wrap this up you two. Your relationship is too sweet, it’s giving me diabetes.
  • It seems like Minori is sympathetic to Shinichi, but my question is – did she know? I think she did, or she strongly suspected, but she’s bound by orders too. I wonder though whether she’ll defy them in the end. Should be fun to see.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Don’t reject feedback rashly, Hard fantasy vs soft fantasy, What I’m thankful for, and On writing fast, writing well.




  1. “Ignoring the fact that getting into a war for resources is boneheaded in the first place.”
    If there are ever any good reasons for war, warring for resources would be among them.

    1. Civilization player mode ON.
      There are basically 2 ways to get resources outside a country’s border. War and trade. I thought Japan has learned the lesson about the war already. They at leaST, kind of did, considering the decision to not use JSDF – but went for the cultural conquest route. But there was entirely plausible trade relationship, and that was overlooked in the preference of cultural domination scheme.
      But, sometimes the very crucial man that helps whole masterful plan to succeed turns into spanner in the works. Shinichi in a stroke of genius proposes Eldantese manga etc. – and I have considered Elbia as possible first Eldantese mangaka way back in first episode she has showed up.

    2. Perhaps it used to be, but it only works when you can best a clearly inferior foe and subjugate them so thoroughly so that they do not pose a threat to your rule. This used to be possible when the most advanced weaponry was a nice crossbow and most peasants had to make due with a sickle or a notched kitchen knife, but it went out of vogue on Earth when invasion created insurgents (or terrorists, or freedom fighters – it all depends on your point of view) who could use guns and bombs to do a great deal of damage at unpredictable locations. You can’t stop all of these attacks, so war no longer became anything like profitable.

      In the Holy Eldant Empire, they have dwarves that can kick goals from across the field and combat magic that puts most earth weaponry to shame. Do you really think it would be profitable to go to war with them?

      That’s why they went the cultural route, naturally. They should have kept it all on the up and up though.

      1. Reason for war (e.g. Resources, Land, Independence, Trade Rights or “They’re infidels who must be converted or killed”) is a distinct and separate issue from whether or not the war is a good idea.
        As you yourself put it:
        “Why get into a war for resources when you’re not sure you can win?” <– hence, not a good idea, since wars cost resources and it's uncertain whether Japan can profit overall from the war.
        But as a potential reason for war? It's certainly "better" than several other reasons wars have been fought over.

      2. Now that’s true. It’s not a good reason per say, but it’s an easier one to buy into than many others, at least without a certain (dangerous) level of belief in some of the various crazy things we mortals believe in.

    1. actually … we have JSDF soldier taking pictures on them… now my question is: was it really just for pics of the ladies in bikini? or that was a cover for something else. IMHO the whole running away and attacking back of the soldiers seemed “odd” to me.

  2. I just realised that Elbia was singing ‘little little twinkle star’ while she was drawing. That sort of creep me out for a bit. Shinichi is a true man for being able to eat up all that omelet rice. (Has Myuseru been cooking only omelet rice since she came back from Japan?)
    I’m suspecting that Japan might be forced to back down from their plan or choose to shut down access to Eldant completely (highly unlikely though). Can’t wait for the last episode! Moar Myuseru please!!

  3. How the heck was Matoba able to see his way around when his eyes were closed the whole time? But those villainous eyes……makes for a better villain than a certain specs guy from KnK.

    1. I don’t thiiiink he is, but it would be really cool if he was. And the moment when he does something that lets the audience know that was his plan all along? Ohhh man, that will be an amazing moment. If it happens, that is.

      1. He looked athenthically surprised when Shinichi went with his “locally manufacutred otaku goods” plan, so I doubt it was his “just as planned”. But I think he is opportunistic enough to follow it if it ensures Japan access to Eldantese resources, if only via fair trade.

      2. Well, this Plan has a Flaw, too

        Sure they can create a Fair Trade between the Fantasy World and their own. But, here comes the Flaw

        It will be no Secret, when other Countries wondering where their Resources came from. “They can create Resources from thin Air? Thats Witchcraft!, Burn Them!!”

        You get my Gist?

        And i dunno, if the Neighbor Countries in the Fantasy World stay “calm”, too. When they see the Welfare rising. So this Fair Trade, can also raise suspicious around both Worlds

      3. ..well if they are not planning a 2nd Season. Destroy the Gate, and all will end. The Support of Otaku Culture from the “Enemy”

        But this is a Door that never will be reopen if they plan to bring a 2nd Season. Or the Gate will Miracle reopening in a Different Place

        Or, easier, an Earthquake will resolve this Problem for all

      4. At this moment it could go either way.

        When you think about it, Jinzaburou position isn’t that different from Shinichi. He knows way too much and his stakes are way too high. He can’t just tell higher-ups their plan is stupid. He can’t just walk away. He can’t sabotage the plan or do as he please in any obvious way – or he will be replaced.

        And we don’t know what the alternatives are. If the plan B envisioned by his higher-ups is actual invasion with tanks and guns, then I can see him doing what he does, even at the cost of Shinichi live, without actually being a villain.

        He’s not stupid, we know that. We don’t know whether he’s evil, but we know that he might have not much choice in that department. But he certainly lived in Eldante long enough to start caring about it, and is smart enough to realise that stable economic ties are better long-term than “rob the bank” plan his higher-ups envisioned. So it’s not that far fetched to see his actions as walking the tight rope, just doing the orders, while setting up things in a way that gives Shinichi a sporting chance of foiling the higher-ups plan rather than foiling him personally.

        Either way, we’ll see next week what happens.

  4. Just my own cents…but…

    The sudden shift to seriousness is really throwing me off, especially if you consider the fact that they only had two episodes left. Honestly speaking I would have preferred it if they had talked more about the implications etc in the earlier episodes…(y’know, instead of throwing all those fanservice episodes out there)

    …and then it got resolved in one episode (you should make your own anime!)…really? That’s a really abrupt resolution to the problem!

    The ending can be good or a trainwreck depending on how the final episode is…the JSDF takes action? Signals point to a 2nd season? That’s one of the possibility that we might see…

    Outbreak Company really makes me wish for a anime adaption of “Thus the JSDF fought there”

    1. The reason I disagree is that all the fun stuff directly led to this, and they’ve been foreshadowing quite a lot. Yes they could have mentioned supply “problems” in previous episodes, which would have been nice, but only if they didn’t interrupt those existing episodes by shoving this in there.

      I do get where you’re coming from, but when the comedic hijinks actually serve the plot I’m willing to give them a little leeway. After all, they had to balance keeping a comedic tone throughout the middle while laying the groundwork for this.

      1. It was foreshadowed, but at least in my opinion, it didnt have that proper execution i was expecting (ive weirdly been disappointed with the eps of shows i follow this week), especially since this series has done “serious” eps prior to this quite effectively. I just didnt feel much for what happened in this ep in particular. It just didnt have the pizzazz other eps have and that made for a slightly disappointing outcome. Still, i am curious to see how the last ep wraps all this up and how maybe it will tie into another season.

  5. Okay, so after he reveals the government’s true plan to Shinichi, its implied that Jinzaburou knew about, and could’ve tried to stop the terrorist attack on the school, but decided not to. It’s also common knowledge that in said terrorist attack, Myusel was inadvertently stabbed, while trying to save Petralka, and almost died in the process.

    Therefore, I’ve come to the unbiased and completely rational conclusion that Jinzaburou MUST DIE. PAINFULLY.

    Unlucky Star
  6. Ah… Cultural Invasion. My country has long experienced that one. From the Spaniards to the Americans to the Japanesse and back to good old Uncle Sam again.

    Mind you, I dont mind how my country ended up, in fact, I wouldnt have it any other way. I just want to point out that we Filipinos know how its like to have the very fabric of our being be overtaken by a foreign invader

  7. Well guessed right in the SERIOUS MOMENT being wrapped up in one episode. Expanding on what you said Stilts this is not a storyline-based series, it’s “comedy with a purpose”. Not really expecting any significant cliffhanger for the finale, likely just enough wiggle room to leave a second season open to possibility.

    The Japanese plan was actually well thought out too. Telling Shinichi before, however, would have eliminated the aura of authenticity his teaching provided and more importantly introduce the chance he wouldn’t go along with it for moral reasons. Yes, he’s easy to “remove” from the scene, but then you have to go back and find another missionary which takes time. Valuable time. In unknown situations you cannot bank on good luck (in this case Japan being the only country aware of this world) lasting forever. The main flaw was the cutting off of cultural currency. The Eldant Empire, relying on magic, is largely ignorant towards the resource needs of a technologically advanced society. Japan could have easily acquired rights to any and all resource-rich land they needed simply through trade: you provide the land and labour, we provide additional cultural currency. As the Empire does not know the true purpose, they would likely hand it over without any concern (unless land under the direct control of the Crown). Peaceful transaction is always more efficient than extortion, especially when the true purpose is left secret and your trading partner doesn’t understand the process.

    Also not difficult to conceal the movement of large amounts of otaku staples. Simply outsource their production to numerous areas to dissipate the volume and lessen the number per area that go missing. Since it’s also easy to manipulate sales figures it wouldn’t be hard either to keep these missing products off of sales lists. Statistics are the simplest thing to manipulate.

    Of course all of this doesn’t really make for a fitting plot, thus we have elements of this episode and the likely conclusion of Shinichi fighting off the Japanese attempt to remove him and grudgingly agree to keep him on as he can single handily bring down their entire operation. Did we subtlely mention the potential NEW THREAT in an post credits scene too? Cue the excited waiting for a season 2 announcement.

  8. The opening scene with Minori using up half a can just to cover her “flavor” was classic. Its a shame that they did not have her showing the same behavior in the first episode. But they could always make a small addition to the Blu-Ray version.

  9. My mind was blown, but I came up with the same plan Shinichi did instantly lol.

    Jinza doesn’t have a leg left to stand on. Shinichi can just say fuck japan and live in Eldant if he wants to. Petraca would definitely let him stay. He’s protected on all fronts, Jinza would have to go through all the children who already had combat training plus Miusel, Elbia, Garius, Petraca’s barrier, and I’m willing to bet Minori will pull a double agent.

    Check, your move Jinza, but when you come after the king, you best not miss!

    1. If Japan got really serious about killing Shinichi, he’d be dead. It’s whether they’ll get that serious – and whether they want to risk the consequences, including potentially severing all ties with the Eldant Empire, what with Petrarca being quite fond of Shinichi – that matters. The consequences make me think they won’t go that far, not anymore. Garius and Zakhar (if not Petrarca herself) ought to be savvy enough to know that Shinichi just did them a big dangerous favor, and hopefully they’ll protect him accordingly.

  10. at first I had the impression Jinzaburou is just a tool, doing all this because of the higher-ups. because he has no other choice and he doesn’t want to end up dead. but that last moment with his eyes..he certainly labeled himself as a villain here.

    there is Minori too. she knew all along (or so it seemed). yet, seeing her face when Shinichi learned the truth. I think she has changed. it was a look of hesitation. I bet she thought she might had the wrong path. not only because of Shinichi. sure, it’s hard to see someone discovering a harsh truth. but throughout the entire series she developed sympathy to the people, the world, the culture and so. there is a process here. also, in a way she is like Shinchi – she had no choice and no one in the human world would care if she might have died all of a sudden.

    and of course not only Minori had developed throughout the series. Shinchi’s efforts bear fruits. his students have become full-time Otaku and creators as well. so as Elbia who only knew to draw maps, can draw a full mahou shoujo madoka magica manga.
    and it’s truly the essence of culture. not only to consume and enjoy it, but also to try some of your own.

    but there is something I feel they quite missed. Shinchi should have taught his students to share, to become patient, to focus on what you have now, to relax even if the next volume will come next week or month. I mean, seeing his students fight over a LN/manga volume is in a way nice, but not when it’s become something that isn’t under control.
    so I expected him to teach his students about patient, sharing or just find something else to do.
    look at Myuseru, even if she has no manga to read, or nothing else to do (when doesn’t need to take care of the house, prepare meals and to teach…god, being Shinchi’s maid is quite hard eh?), she still found something nice while her master was shut-in. and it’s level-up in cooking omelet-rice.
    now, I know he was shocked due to the higher-up plan and all. but still, he thought too much of providing his students material rather than to deal with another aspect of the problem.
    not that his solution was bad. it was in front of us since the first minute of the ep (or even before). but I wanted him to deal with that from the other side of the problem as well.

    1. I agree that Shinichi should have taught them to share better, but they are 9-10 year old kids, who can get damn silly about such things sometimes. There’s also the “outbreak” factor, in that otaku culture spread so quickly because they had no immunity to it, even if that working with entertainment media as well as it does with viruses is a bit debatable.

      I really don’t think Jinzaburou is the villain though. Not the villain per say. Antagonist yes, but he’s still following orders rather than the driving force between why he’s acting like he is – that comes from his bosses. I hesitate to label characters like Jinzaburou as “villain” or “evil” because I think he’s more complex than that.

      He’s certainly in opposition to Shinichi and co though, at least until proven otherwise.

  11. >We discovered a new dimension
    >Great! Let’s hire a nerd to spread culture
    >Everyday is happy and energetic
    >Just kidding: we are actually invading a country through culture and brainwash! Anyone who gets in our way will be silenced.

    WOW, shit just got real. Yeah I know it’s sudden, pretentious shit but I genuinely like where this is possibly going:

    1. Shinichi will be killed.
    2. He will seek asylum.
    3. He will become an outlaw.
    4. He will be brain-washed through magic.
    5. The yaoi-reading cousin is actually out to kill the princess/empress/whatever and is in league with the humans. A coup will break out and the populace will rage due to lack of genuine Japanese Anime and Manga, the royalty killed, Japan will step in and make a puppet gov’t.

    In all the bad end Shinichi will probably be killed, chopped to bits then incinerated with the mansion and kept secret) and the princess and Myucel will probably be sold into slavery as sex slaves where they will forever serve men daily with their bodies and give birth to more slaves, and they will never know what happened to the guy Shinichi and will soon forget him in favor of the ecstasy they receive from their new perverse masters(This is why I never read any spoiler for this series: I like speculating ultra-evil bad ends.)

  12. I get the feeling that Petrarca and company knew Shinichi was a spy. The people from the empire may seem to be aloof but they know what they are doing. So, i bet that the reason they asked Shinichi if he was sure that it was what he wanted, was because they knew it was going to be bad for him. And then somehow Shinichi becomes part of the new world instead of the human race, and a reverse prime minister representing the other side.

    1. But that’s the thing, Shinichi wasn’t a spy. He was an unwitting invader, yes, but he was a tool rather than an agent, which was exactly why he was successful – they could sense his authenticity.

      You’re right though, they asked if he was sure because they knew this would be bad for him. He’s doing what’s right for their country (or more broadly, what’s just right) rather than what’s right for his own country. It doesn’t take any stretch of imagination to know there’s a risk implied in going against your own country.

  13. Damn, this show got serious real fast. In a good way though, because I already figured the other episodes were building up to something like this. The Japanese government implied that Shinichi was just a tool for them so they could get their hands on Eldants resources from the beginning, after all. Though I figured they used otaku culture as their equivalent as ‘baubles for the natives’, not that they’d go this far. And while the slower plan might have worked, there also might have been pressure to produce immediate results, which led to them becoming more aggressive.

    Much like you, Stilts, I also find their mistakes believable. Letting Shinichi talk to Petrarca was their biggest one, but that’s because they figured they could easily intimidate the spineless little otaku. Tell him the truth, make him know how deeply entrenched he is into all this, and that he will forfeit his life if he doesn’t shut up. Not to mention that, although I may be stereotyping a bit here, but I don’t think Japan is as big on defying their superiors or politicians as they are in the west. So Shinichi really wouldn’t throw his life aw- oh wait he just did. They underestimated him, basically, they didn’t know he had it in him. Shinichi’s solution was pretty smart, but I doubt it’ll be resolved by just that, considering the preview…

    Hah, and you neglected to mention the explanation of the show’s title. Outbreak Company sure sounds a lot more malicious now.

    Man, I really will miss this show. It’s been steadily climbing up its way towards one of my favourite shows of the season (watching many others lose their footing and plummet) and the fact that it has the ability to pull of more serious plots pretty well is just the icing on the cake. And yes, dammit Shinichi, hook up with Myusel already!

    1. It’s a shame that this is only one cour. There have been a number of issues they’ve only touched on such as prejudice, the other kingdoms, and Petracha’s parents murders. I wish they could have expanded on them more. Definitely a shame given the quality of the show.

      1. Definitely agree with you that the show should have had a 2-cour initial run. There are a lot of things left to explore – whether on a character relationship/development level or a more macro level such as the changes to Eldant culture (along with likely resistance to that change). Not only that, I though this episode felt a bit rushed. Nothing bad, but still a noticeable pick up in the speed of events. With a 24 EP run, no problems on that front.

        We can only hope that the show gets a quick green-light for a second season. With any luck, we might see Shinichi and the rest of the gang again in this Fall. 😀

  14. Invading another country using animes and mangas!? Ridiculous! No way this in real Life!

    (I look around and I see my bookshelf of mangas, a shelf of DVD animes and a shelf of figurines…)


  15. Shinichi has clinched character of the year for me. I can’t think of a more brilliant character than one who used Otaku to throw a wrench in the plan of the Japanese government like that. The Japanese government, with their interest in the vast amount of resources in Eldant, could never say ‘no’ to that plan, as they would give everything about their desires away, and Eldant would boot them out in a heartbeat. On the other hand, without the advantage of spreading the Otaku culture and having a monopoly over it, the Japanese Government doesn’t have a clear way anymore to make their ends meet. They can kill Shinichi and get away with it for that matter, but it will only make Shinichi a martyr and encourage an acceleration of Eldantese Otaku independence.

    So we have an Otaku man that earned his harem, earned a beach episode, is friends with the supreme ruler and can chat with her anytime he wants, is running a successful business, and managed to massively upset the plans of the government. Character of the year.

    1. In this scene, Shinichi is looking at the linework in Elbia’s drawings.

      Looks more like Shinichi is appreciating a different type of linework – one produced by Elbla’s rear. :3

      Unlucky Star
  16. They don’t have to kill him. Remember they have been very careful to keep Shinichi in the dark about where or how they get him to Eldant. Obvious action for the them to take is to drug him as they have before and return him to his room. He has no proof of what they did nor anything about the existence of Eldant. In fact, Eldant is so similar to anime/manga fantasies that he would just be laughed at as an otaku and hikikomori who has gone a little crazy in his isolation.

    Now the question is what do the Eldantians do?

    1. I agree that killing him is excessive and IMO you raise a good point about if he’s drugged as usual and taken back to Japan, there’s no way for him to return. Even if he knew where the gate was, I’m sure it’s heavily guarded.

      The other thing that came to mind was rather than how the Eldants (Patrarca especially) might question Shinichi’s disappearance, what about his parents? AFAIK, both his mom and dad are alive and he’s not estranged from them. Assuming that is correct, then at some point they would start to ask question – starting with his employers.

      The Japanese gov’t still might be able to cover the whole thing up (people do just disappear), but why take the needless risk? I agree, if Shinichi told his parents or anyone else, they would think he’s become to involved in his otaku lifestyle rather than believe what he said was true. At any rate, at least for me, the anime’s version is still plausible enough so I’m fine with just going along with that.

    2. Or, kill him and make it look like it was suicide. No reason to risk word getting out (even if people probably wouldn’t believe him) when they can presumably kill him and remove the whole problem. From that end at least.

  17. The episode was enjoyable, but as stilts pointed out there were holes in both sides plans.

    On the Japanese side, as has already been pointed out telling Shinichi was a big mistake, and one that they didn’t even need to do. There was no potential benefit to telling him their plan, and it could easily backfire as it did. Furthermore, the details of their plot are a bit sketchy. As the sole source of anime/manga Japan has an absolute monopoly on the market. Under these conditions there is no need to limit the amount sent through the gate as they can set the price arbitrarily high, and the more material that makes it across the more money they make and the further japanese culture infiltrates. The logical thing to do would be to start selling the material after they hooked the Eldantese on the free sample.

    Shinichi’s plan was neat, but has one flaw. How is a pre-industrial society without a printing press supposed to publish manga in quantities able to compete with modern Japan?

    1. Shinichi’s plan was neat, but has one flaw. How is a pre-industrial society without a printing press supposed to publish manga in quantities able to compete with modern Japan?

      My guess is they would manufacturer or reproduce their works somehow using magic. They may be able to harness magic in other ways than what has been shown so far.

      Unlucky Star
      1. They’ll probably pull something like that out, but if they were capable of large-scale printing Eldant would be a lot more literate

        And yes, a simple Gutenberg press is relatively easy to make when you know how, it’s not nearly competitive against modern methods, and also not very good for pictures.

      2. I mentioned this in another comment, but the long and short is that more primitive printing methods would be sufficient for novels and light novels if nothing else. Not ideal, but they wouldn’t be beholden to Japan, and once they’re on more equal footing Japan might be willing to treat them as equals and trading partners anyway.

  18. So Japanese government has monopoly to sell everything starting from toilet paper to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and arms for whatever price they want without worrying of competition. That’s total control already. I think it’s no point to try to find a real world logic in anime.

  19. About Jintarou revealing the plan to Shinichi:

    Instead the Japanese should have done exactly what they did – including recruiting someone earnest and truly passionate like Shinichi – up until this episode. Then they should have kept doing that.
    The problem with this plan? It’s boring! The most effective plans usually aren’t exciting, which makes for a crappy story. This would have made for a boring climax because there wouldn’t have been a climax, just a slow buildup of advantages for Japan.
    I’m telling the characters they’re being damn fools, not the creators, and that’s where you want that.

    Well, the creators could have done better, in my opinion. It’s out of question that the “right” plan would have been boring for us viewers, but why not making Shinichi uncover the plan by himself, instead of having Jinzaburou commit the worst mistake a villain can commit, i.e. telling their plan to the heroes ?
    This is not even coherent with his character, he has always being covering the truth in one way or another (even with ridiculous excuses like Eldantese can not survive in the Earth atmosphere), so I would have preferred something like Shinichi investigating on the supplies shortage and coming up finding what was going on.

    But maybe there was no time left to do that, with only twelve episodes … and I was just nitpicking on a series that I found truly enjoyable. Let’s hope for more of it, as Shinichi himself said in the preview (so it _can_ happen, if the series will sell well).

    1. The reason I don’t like that is because it would have been out of character for Shinichi to dig that up. He would have tried to enlist Minori’s aid, and it’s still not clear that Minori would help him, since her stance on this whole situation isn’t clear.

      Also, Jinzaburou knew that he would have to tell Shinichi eventually, and for that matter soon since they were starting to squeeze the supply. Now that they had put themselves in this situation it was better to rip off the bandage now rather than wait until Shinichi was even angrier at the supply “problems”, and therefore even more likely to defy them.

  20. One flaw with Shinichi’s solution is that Eldantese need to take a leap in technology in order to accomplish it. Mass produced manga requires machinery and electricity. Anime would require much more.

    1. Machinery yes, electricity no. Remember that the main trick of a printing press is in the reusable plates and then movable type, and Shinichi knows those tricks if nothing else, so they could start mass producing light novels in short order. Yes the illustrations would have to be custom plates, but it would work a lot better than manga, which would probably require better machines to get any kind of scale.

      As nice as getting them straight from Japan? No, but it’s better than being beholden to a hostile government.

      1. Yeah, the quality of their own production will not be close. Will it be enough to quench their addiction? Hopefully, they don’t pull some random magic out that acts like a modern printer.

      2. The other thing is that we don’t know exactly what is possible via magic. The have “telepathy translation rings” so maybe there’s some “copy” spell? Maybe “anime” is done via a crystal ball hologram? I might be stretching things here, but my point is that the existence of magic opens up a lot of potential production alternatives.

      3. I don’t think printing manga would necessarily be that hard. The magic required to do a plate engraving wouldn’t seem to be outlandish given the power we’ve seen that the elves are capable of. Power equivalent to electricity to drive a press would also seem to be straightforward. Animal power or even a dwarf running on a wheel would be adequate. Actually, I could see them making a hit in Japan with their products. All they’ve really have to do is historical productions.

      4. Yes, if they pulled out some bullshit magic then it would be really annoying, but what if they had one that allowed them to draw on metal like it’s paper? Or perhaps copy an image over onto other surfaces (like metal). That + certain magical ways to make electricity and other things would circumvent a lot of missing technology nicely without making us all rage.

  21. I still can’t believe (ok, well I can) that we didn’t even get a comforting hug out of that tearful exchange. Those two are freaking adorable together and I could watch an entire series based solely on their interactions (maybe throwing a kiss in there somewhere).

  22. @Stilts: Finally catching up on some shows, so a bit late to comment here. Couple of thoughts/comments about your analysis of the Japanese Gov’t strategy:

    The Japanese Government’s Big Mistakes

    IMO you did a pretty good job of outlining two of the major problems – really it’s the same thing, their plan hinged on an “outsider”. It’s not so much letting the person “in on the plan” from the start, it’s making sure the person AGREES with the plan from the start. If you’re going to secretly dump toxic waste, it won’t matter when you tell the person who’s running the operation if said person is an environmentalist.

    However, IMO the situation is more credible than even you suggest. You may recall how Shinichi was brought in because the other managers failed. Speculation on my part, but my guess is that those “managers” were Japanese Gov’t insiders. On the plus side, they probably knew about the ultimate goal and agreed with it. Problem was they couldn’t do the job. At some point, Jinzaburou and his bosses realized that the needed an outside “expert”. The also realized the potential problems going such a route so they picked someone they thought could not only do the job, but was easily controlled. What they didn’t, really couldn’t, anticipate was how Shinichi would change after meeting Myuseru, Patrarca and the other Eldants. JMO, but if this was the “Shinichi of EP 01”, I don’t think he has it in him to fight back.

    What Japan Should Have Done – Slow, Cultural Power

    Agree for the most part with what you wrote. IMO, I don’t even think there would be any accounting problems. Mark it as “top secret” military research and that’s the end of it. IIRC, the F-35 fighter program alone was over budget by many millions of dollars. Again, JMO, but I don’t see this as a potential problem.

    The other point I’d like to add is that you should consider the other side of the transaction. Not the Eldant demand for manga/anime/etc., but according to the subs I watched, the Eldants don’t use any of these “rare” raw material resources. In otherwords, for the Eldants, those raw materials are viewed as something with little or no value. Like how we might view an ordinary rock. Simply trade for the stuff. The Eldants have NO idea of what these material are actually worth to the Japanese Gov’t. The Gov’t could easily arrange a contract with valuations highly in its favor. Then give the Eldent government a revolving line of credit to buy manga/anime/etc. which they in turn pay off via whatever raw materials you want at said highly advantageous contracted pricing. Wouldn’t be surprised if Japan could set raw material prices at 1/10 of what they would be in the “real world”.

    Like you said though, while something like this makes more sense, it would be pretty boring to watch. 😀

    1. I must admit that it never sat well that the government was completely unable to find an insider who was authentically into otaku culture as well – I mean come on, Minori is right there – but doing something so two-faced would dampen the authenticity of all but the most clever bullshitter, so that would have made it tricky.

      And you’re right that Ep1 Shinichi wouldn’t have had the cojones to defy the government, though I’m not sure he’d go along with it either. He may have gone full hikikomori and gotten himself killed, lol

      Bonus points on the pricing stuff – you’re right, the Japanese could have, by our standards, totally taken the Eldantese to town on those resources. The Eldantese would probably be pissed later on, mind you, when their technological level rises to a point where those resources become valuable again, but that’s the kind of chicanery I view largely as fair game. Well, not precisely fair, but the kind of unfair we’re used to.

  23. Shinichi’s plan has a big flaw imo. And that flaw is visible in the world we are living right now, or at least visible in the country I stay right now.

    Surely you can make your own manga, anime, and doujinsoft. But….will the quality be better than the original one…? It will always go back to the consumers of that country. You need to remember that manga, anime, and all that stuffs are art, sometimes you can’t just beat the original maker. If most of the consumers of Eldant prefer the “original” manga(or anime etc) to their “local” manga, then shinichi’s plan won’t work.

    In the country I am staying now, they do have their own manga, LN, and so on, they even have their own “comiket” event. But, you will have to agree that their quality is different. Not to mention that the style of the drawing is still the same like the “original” on. In the end, those “local” manga, LN, and stuffs do not gets bigger(more like a zombie, not alive, but not dead either), and the consumers in the country still prefer the “original” ones, and the one with more money will only buy japanese stuffs only~~.

    1. This only applies if you have a choice between the foreign original and the local at similarly reasonable prices and availability. I think you’re missing part of the point here…don’t compare original Japanese manga & LNs to local manga & LNs, compare original Japanese manga & LNs to all other forms of entertainment. The Holy Eldant Empire doesn’t have an entertainment industry to speak of, and once the people got a taste of it, they liked what they saw. Who’s to say that Eldant novels and plays can’t take the place of manga & LNs? Yes they’ll probably take influence from the otaku stuff they were enjoying, and that’s totally fine, but it’ll become something different and unique, at least if the absence of Japanese material comes true.

      And if not, and the Japanese keep making their otaku products available? Well some creators are always able to rise to the top. I’m sure Elbia and other Eldant natives will do exactly that.


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