Random Curiosity

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Island – 01

「またあえたねあなたと」 (Mata Aeta ne Anata to)
“We Meet Again”

Island tried out all kinds of things, and turned out to be a mixed bag. Not everything was good, not everything was bad, but I’ll probably be coming back for more after all is said and done. Here are some of my impressions and personal opinions regarding how I felt about Island’s first episode.

The Dude Who Leapt Through Time:

Setsuna Sanzenkai (Suzuki Tatsuhisa) is quite the likeable derp, and his introduction to the story is odd, yet simultaneously compelling. He is an individual who has allegedly travelled through time to kill someone, in order to avert a disastrous future, a classical storyline which can result in a masterpiece if correctly carried out. Additionally, his dreams within the episode tell him ‘Setsuna must die‘, and this is actually reaffirmed through the message he found in the history book while browsing through the library. So what exactly is going on here – does our main character have to die, or has he mistaken himself to be Setsuna? If I were him, I’d feel reluctant to go through with a task that would result in my own death, even if it was for a greater good. That said, I don’t think we have the full picture, and have something of an idea as to what might be going on.

So, imagine if Okabe lost most of his memories when Reading Steiner activated, and was only left with the crucial details of why he travelled back in time. For me, such an event would unequivocally raise the stakes in Steins;Gate. And equally, I feel that this is where we find ourselves in Island. Only the story begins right after the time travel takes place, without the context as to why it happened. For now, I’ll assume there’s much more than meets the eye, and will withhold judgement until things become clearer. As such this feels pretty unique as far as story-telling goes, and I find this different approach to be quite refreshing, though whether it amounts to anything will be another question.

However, while there’s an interesting premise to be had, Island has struggled to establish anything from Setsuna’s perspective. It feels like a lot of his character construction got left out, as he seemingly goofs around without a care in the world, making it difficult to take him seriously.
 Hopefully, they will start including more personable moments, that help us relate with his bizarre situation.

The Female Ensemble:

The female character designs are all pretty great, so what about their personalities? While Karen (Asumi Kana) seems like the typical tsundere, which I’d describe as rather generic, we have some really interesting female characters in Rinne (Tamura Yukari) and Sara (Yamamura Hibiku). Those two really brought differing dynamics to the episode, particularly Sara with her failed assassination attempts. Though I quite like Rinne’s personality, I was slightly jarred by the way in which the screen lit up in a purple tinge whenever she started singing. Do her songs have magical abilities or is this simply for atmospheric effect? And that goes back to a primary issue I had with the execution overall. While I understand that the lack of explanation is meant to drive the mysterious narrative, I feel like they left too many holes behind. I was left left pondering over fundamental questions in terms of how the in-universe mechanics are meant to work, as opposed to feeling engaged with the actual mysteries at hand revolving around Urashima itself. Also, there might be a problem with welding a cohesive storyline, since plot threads seem mostly disjointed.

Regardless, I am extremely curious to see how Setsuna’s relationship with the three girls will develop. He seemed to receive randomly fragmented flashes, pertaining to past memories or visions of the future, hinting that these girls are important figures that could prove central to changing the future. What are these girls supposed to mean to Setsuna? I guess we’ll probably find out and plot elements will continue unravelling, provided we keep on watching.

Concluding Thoughts:

Amidst the shimmering sunlight, Island presents a tantalising premise (probably involving time travel) that is bound to generate widespread interest. However, is the incorporation of time travel actually substantive or a false mirage – a red herring so to speak? I cannot answer conclusively on that matter, because there’s been a lot of smoke but no definitive fire or lack thereof. And that is something Island has frequently done so far – dropping little hints all over the place as to what future events may entail. Though many would allude to the bog standard cliches that are commonplace in the modern anime industry, there are a couple of them that strike me as extremely odd, potentially promising much more depth than can be gleaned from the surface.

For example, I looked into the etymology behind ‘Urashima’, and might have stumbled across an interesting tidbit. Namely the legendary folklore surrounding a fisherman named Urashima Taro, and his tango with timey wimey shenanigans. If you want to read up on it, and draw some connections with the direction Island may progress in, feel free to click on the link I just provided. However, ignore it if you feel like its implications might ruin your further viewing experience for Island, since this may come up later on.

Either ways, I’m finding myself increasingly curious about the mysteries that Island is establishing, even if I have some qualms with the general execution, because frankly there’s room for improvement. Yet this combo of mystery requiring refinement has actually been a feature with some of the shows I’ve enjoyed the most in recent years (Occultic;Nine and Sakurada Reset), which makes me quite optimistic going forwards. While allegations of excessive tampering with the source material sound likely, and put a damper on things, I can’t help but feel absolutely intrigued by this upcoming storm. The episode count isn’t set in stone yet, so hope still exists for a 24 episode adaptation, which should allow for a more comprehensive adaptation of the visual novel. Thanks for reading my post, and let me know what your thoughts are down below in the comment section!

ED Sequence

ED: 「永遠のひとつ」 (Eien no Hitotsu) by 田村ゆかり (Tamura Yukari)

July 3, 2018 at 5:27 pm
16 comments »
  • July 3, 2018 at 7:04 pmzztop

    Island’s source VN has an official English translation, due for a release sometime in 2018.
    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-07-04/island-visual-novel-tv-anime-english-release-revealed-for-2018/.118411

    The 2018 release year was made to coincide with the anime, but no specific release date has been given as of yet. (Perhaps to prevent spoilers from a wider English base, or just delays?)

    The game’s VA for Sara, Murakawa Rie, was replaced with Yamamura Hibiku for the anime following script disputes instigated by Murakawa’s talent agency. Said agency insisted on last-minute script and scene changes late into production.
    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-01-29/island-tv-anime-recasts-sara-after-script-changes-dispute/.127066

  • July 3, 2018 at 7:27 pmTopboy

    From preview and episode 1 look like the main girl is silver hair,Rinne, but from CG from visual novel suggest otherwise.

    This is number one anime that I want to watch in this season because many reason (I like VN,I like mysterious, I like cute girls, I like Rinne character design ,etc) so I’m looking forward to next episode.

    • July 3, 2018 at 7:42 pmTopboy

      (Can’t edit comment so I have to reply my comment)
      After I check more CG. Please ignore my first paragraph (about CG). It’s misinformation.

      So Did anyone will cover this anime (or just first impression only) ?

  • July 3, 2018 at 9:00 pmMagnus Tancred

    So Did anyone will cover this anime (or just first impression only) ?

    The current setup in Random Curiosity is to write first impressions until the third episode, then they decide which series to cover and which ones to drop.

  • July 3, 2018 at 9:23 pmWorldwidedepp

    There was an similar anime in the past, where all men of the island got out for fishing, but an strange aura do not let them return. But of course an Boy from the outside got washed on the beach and so on..

  • July 3, 2018 at 10:16 pmAngelus

    https://randomc.net/image/Island/Island%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2005.jpg

    Those shorts, they’re so tight. Like skin-tight in places. Plus that prominent seam up the front. I saw one review that pointed out the shorts as a welcome change from short skirts, well, to the pure all things are pure, I suppose.

    As for the Urashima Taro thing, I think it’s something that people should read up on because after all, every Japanese person watching this will know that story well so it’s much more of a deliberate reference than a “secret spoiler”.

    • July 3, 2018 at 11:42 pmLonghaul

      It’s like a cross between hotpants and culottes.

  • July 4, 2018 at 3:40 amtheirs

    First thing I noticed was the convenient censoring:
    https://randomc.net/image/Island/Island%20-%2001%20-%2006.jpg
    Umm, actually the scene before that, but it’ll do. Since I assume this is from an eroge, then I hope they stick with it for fun.

    The other thing is the thing with Sara. She wants to kill Setsuna (present and future Sara), but also wants him to rescue the world (future Sara). This scene makes me think the protagonists name is Setsuna.
    https://randomc.net/image/Island/Island%20-%2001%20-%2044.jpg
    But what got me thinking is, are they talking about the same Setsuna? Now looking at a previous Front Wing work, I can’t tell if they are talking about different persons, or different entities of the same person.

    Good catch on the Urashima Taro reference. I can see the similarities, but it really didn’t come to mind when watching this episode.

    • July 5, 2018 at 12:55 pmLogeres

      The VN Island was all-ages, so not an eroge.

      • July 5, 2018 at 4:07 pmsealouse

        Really? With that very first scene?

  • July 4, 2018 at 6:07 amsosbrigade1991

    Nothing like sexual harassment of all three main girls before we even get the ball rolling. This was such a stupid first episode. I’m so tired of junk like this. Do better.

    • July 10, 2018 at 7:14 pmKarmafan

      More then 3 facepalms in the 1st episode means the series gets dropped. This one had about 7 or 8.

  • July 4, 2018 at 8:51 amDa_J

    Rinne seemed fine with light touching her in her very first scene so I don’t know whats up with the reaction at the end.

    Also, according to Sara, Rinne disappeared 5 years ago? She also didn’t interact with her when she rang the bell and the author probably wanted to make that point by pointing out she knew about Setsuna from Karen. Obviously the cop interacted with her so I’m not sure whats the deal here.

    Am I missing something?

  • July 4, 2018 at 11:28 amEnan84

    I enjoyed the episode very much, I mean who could resists:

    https://randomc.net/image/Island/Island%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2031.jpg

  • July 5, 2018 at 4:06 pmsealouse

    This got me thinking. Is Setsuna his own Father? Would that even be possible?

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