OP: 「ココハドコ」 (Koko wa Doko) by Ahomushi
Sounan desu ka? aims to be the most helpful anime of the Summer by teaching viewers survival tips for how to subsist in the wild. As the girls learn to live off of the deserted island they were trapped on, there are new lessons to be learned and skills to be obtained. At the same time, none of the material feels dry as we pick up on these tidbits through Homare’s (M.A.O.) interactions with the island and her fellow castaways’ reactions to understanding the logic she operates off of.
Much like how Yuru Camp made sure that every episode was able to give viewers the best strategies to enjoy a camping trip at their own personal leisure, Sounan desu ka? goes through nifty and useful tips on how to survive in any risky situations whether you’re stuck on an island or a remote location in nature. Homare uses the lessons her survival expert father instilled in her to provide us with the fun facts that the anime gives us within the span of its short run time. In this episode, we get some basic yet useful reminders of some of the ways you can hydrate in times of crisis regardless if it’s through urine, saliva, fish blood, or man-made reservoirs to construct when the resources are available. They do acknowledge that they’re only scraping the tip of the iceberg with the number of intricacies that you should know about surviving on a deserted island, but it’s a good start in introducing audiences to the most important rule in life: always stay hydrated!
Sounan desu ka? could have merely settled on solely educating viewers on survival tactics, but what helps the anime exceed its expectations is the hilarious methods they delivering such lessons. Homare’s indifferent demeanor and extensive knowledge make it all the more humorous when she remains stone-faced about the outrageous steps she takes to ensure that her new friends are safe. During the episode, she wrings the blood out of a fish onto herself, attempts to pee on Shion (Waki Azumi) because she needed hydration, and swaps saliva and a locust leg with Mutsu (Yasuno Kiyono) through a surprise lip-lock. The extreme lengths Homare goes to properly subsist on the island with the girls are often followed up by their puzzled, horrified, surprised, and/or confused reactions they have to how she handles the wilderness. What’s also great is that each of the other girls have skills that compliment Homare. Shion addresses practical issues that Homare would keep in mind when prioritizing different solutions, Mutsu has the intellect to come up with logical deductions to help Homare implement her ideas, and Asuka (Kouno Hiyori) has the athletic aptitude to offer the physical strength and agility to shape Homare’s concepts into a reality. Not only does the show provide an ample amount of comedy to make their efforts to survive on the island humorous, but the anime also gives the girls their own individual personalities that pair perfectly with another as they seek out solutions to the myriad of problems they face by waiting it out on a deserted island.
By combining valuable survival strategies for any worst-case-scenario with irreverent humor and ecchi, Sounan desu ka? currently stands out above the rest as one of the best short form anime of the summer season. It might not be what you meant when you wanted to spend your summer by the ocean, but with Sounan desu ka?, it will prove to be a humorous and pleasant way to learn practical skills that would be useful to know just to be safe. I’m looking forward to seeing what new tips that Homare has in mind from her father’s life lessons and how the rest of the girls will be able to offer their own areas of expertise to help them all find their way to safety.
ED: 「生きる」 (Ikuru) by Yasuno Kiyono