438th G-View: Otherside Picnic

An anime based on a story about two young women going on crazy adventures to a hostile other dimension full of unspeakable danger and scares all while slowly developing feelings for each other. Sounds like a winning concept to me. Question is how was the show in question? Let us find out as we take a look at Otherside Picnic.

Note: This review is by someone who has not read the source material. For a review by someone who has check out Sir Rory‘s.

Otherside Picnic Preview Image 2

Alternate Title: Urasekai Picnic (JP)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Thriller, Yuri.

Themes: Urban Legends.

Number of Episodes: 12

G-Rating: 8/10 (Solid yuri and good action-horror) 7/10 (Fans of the source material)

Plot Summary: Sorawo has been exploring the strange dream-like world she calls the Otherside ever since she stumbled upon it during her days as an urban explorer, but her most recent trip has gotten her into serious trouble. That’s when she meets Toriko, a strange young woman searching the Otherside for her missing friend. Toriko helps Sorawo out of her predicament, and Sorawo falls into helping Toriko in her mission. But each journey into the Otherside brings strange new dangers and skills, and Sorawo isn’t sure that the search is worth it.

Wiggle-Waggle Traps Toriko and SoraoI already described the gist of the show in the introduction and for the most part that is the majority of what viewers can expect from it. Most of the time our main duo travel to Otherside through various means exploring the almost post-apocalyptic world, encountering terrifying otherworldly creatures from creepy crawlies to enormous monsters based on urban legends and even Creepypastas. Depending on how much people can handle scary monsters and atmosphere along with lighting and the time of day watching, it can be a genuinely scary viewing experience. I watched most of it with the lights on and chills ran down my spine a couple of times. Along with the monsters’ inspiration the setting and some of the adventures were inspired by the video game series S.T.A.L.K.E.R that in turn was inspired by the Russian novel Roadside Picnic (I was unaware of this at first but fans of one or both quickly name dropped the titles as soon as I began my weekly coverage of the show).

The show has an episodic format. Most episodes feature a contained adventure with a few two-parters. There is an ongoing narrative, Toriko’s main mission. While it becomes clearer as the story progresses do not expect to see a conclusion nor a climax to that plot. Approach this show as more of an episodic adventure with a story brewing on the side that may or may not get an animated continuation in the future. From past experience the odds of a 2nd season are slim.

Sorawo relieved by Toriko's handToriko can make contact with the monstersTo combat the threats of Otherside Sorawo and Toriko come equipped with not only firearms, Toriko has a reason why she often comes with a solid supply of them, but supernatural abilities. Besides well done creep factor and scares the action scenes are good too, ESPECIALLY in the 3rd quarter when a certain character makes her debut. Two of my favorite fights on the show featured her.

Going back to the abilities, bear in mind that in Sorawo’s case she acquires a few somewhat not well explained additional abilities alongside her primary one. Viewers may have an idea what I am referring to around the 3rd quarter of the show. Besides that there may be one or two plot inconsistencies or plot holes here and there. From what I gathered it is related to which chapters were adapted. Again I have not read the source nor am I here to compare them. I am reviewing the anime as its own thing. Do not expect me to reply to any Light Novel or manga references in the comments.

Sorao in a trance with the monsterThe presentation is good. I am certain fans would have wanted it to be great but what we got was good in my book. Usually means the Blu-Ray will ramp up the quality. The soundtrack is solid with tunes that fit the mood. The OP and EDs are nice.

KozakuraBefore we get to our lead duo let us briefly discuss the side-characters by highlighting the most prominent one, Kozakura. She is grumpy and a petite cutie bur deep down cares for people she likes. There are other side-characters but I will leave them for viewers to meet them personally. Trust me, they are worth anticipating.

Toriko X Sorao kabedon

Time to talk about our lead duo, Sorawo and Toriko. Sorawo (Initially translated as Sorao) is a grumpy loner who has good reason to want to be alone. That all changed upon meeting Toriko. Initially unwilling her adventures with Toriko help her slowly but surely come out of her shell and reveal/learn interesting things about herself. Toriko meanwhile is a confident, brave for the most part and beautiful half-Canadian young lady (That is the only big spoiler I will reveal about her). Sorawo is a sexy lady in her own right but Toriko’s beauty is more noticeable early on. She is of course the opposite of Sorawo, meaning more open and honest with her feelings. As mentioned earlier in the review there is a reason why she usually packs heat. However, there are some things that haunt her and are difficult to share. Basically this is a classic partnership where both women help each other grow, in more ways than one.

Toriko wants to see a long haired SorawoWithout giving too much away, one woman’s feelings are obvious whereas the other is somewhat subtle. I will not say which is which but readers who also watched/read Adachi and Shimamura may have a good idea.

Overall Otherside Picnic is a cool and creepy time with a dash of slow burn gayness on the forefront and maybe a little extra on the side. Some inconsistencies aside it is an enjoyable watch. I recommend the interested approach this one as an episodic adventure instead of focusing on the main narrative as there is no final resolution this season to the main mystery. I would like to see another animated season but the odds of that happening, as usual. are slim.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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22 Responses to 438th G-View: Otherside Picnic

  1. Kotori_Sonoda says:

    Overall this was a fun show to watch. I enjoyed the creepy stuff a lot and I like the MCs.

    Funny enough Ani one YouTube still uses “Sorao”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Urasekai Picnic Part 1, the anime and the novels | FoundOnWeb

  3. Mauron says:

    I suspect I will forever remain confused on the Sorawo/Sorao romanization issue. Whatever her name is, she’s quite cute and gay.

    They should have had a scene introducing Sorawo’s contact. Something similar to Toriko noticing her eye change and not understanding personal space or lesbians.

    Good series, will read more later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      To be honest the Western spelling no longer matters to me.

      The contact was a good disguise. Probably had a chapter where she got it in the source.

      Good show.


      • Mauron says:

        I normally don’t care about the spelling, but Sora(w?)o is changing my attempts at pronunciation. If it was just a matter of the number of “U”s, that would be another story.


  4. Giack31 says:

    This was pretty good.

    I wouldn’t say this show is scary but it’s definitely creepy. My favourite moments were when Akari got somehow possessed by Sorawo’s eye and went berserker.

    The main duo is really cool and have some crazy backstories.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. yurimylove says:

    looks like we don’t get to see the actual “picnic” until season 2 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was a solid show for what it was. I enjoyed it. It certainly had a creepiness that I loved, and I liked experiencing a new “monster of the week” format. Definitely has some loose ends that I’m sure would obviously be tied up in the novels, so I might check them out one day. Though a season 2 would be welcome, even if the chances are slim. Our leading ladies were of course the best blooming couple, but I really liked the side ship we got too. Kozakura was awesome in her own right. But our lovely mechanic was definitely my best girl in the end, even if we sadly didn’t get to see much of her.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Even if the Novels and manga went deeper I personally think this series is fun but not one of the all-time greats of yuridom. Admittedly my favorite episodes were the ones featuring Akari. The 2nd being the best for obvious reasons. Our main couple were cool and their development was nice. Kozakura’s great too.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. chikorita157 says:

    As a whole, I enjoyed the story although some of the stuff are creepy or downright horrifying. While I won’t mind a second season, I am somewhat doubtful it will happen. Still, I liked how the relationship between Sorawo and Toriko developed of course.


  8. Liddo-kun says:

    amazing rescue by Sorawo and Toriko, not a single soldier was lost

    they would probably be rewarded with something if go with the soldiers, but it would also cause problems for them. So it’s better to part ways there. Maybe they would see them again someday.

    and finally get their vehicle into the Otherside.

    frightened Kozakura is cute holding her raccoon. xD

    hoping for a season 2!


  9. Nick says:

    Apparently I didn’t comment on this one yet, so I’ll do that now.

    Really enjoyed this show a lot, even if I have a tough time with scary things, it was still a very exciting watch and a highlight of my week for sure.

    Sorawo and Toriko were a great couple and I loved their interactions throughout the show. So many great moments between the girls and it always brought a smile to my face.

    Loved the action and adventure of the show, the thrills and chills. Great stuff each week, even if it was a sort of monster of the week show, but if done right then it’s never a dull moment.

    Would love to see another season at some point in the future. Feels like there are so many more adventures they could go on.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. K says:

    This was a nice watch. I wasn’t really scared by what was shown in Sorawo and Toriko’s ventures into The Otherside but it was unsettling at times. Heck, the worst of it wasn’t even Otherside related, it was Sorawo’s backstory. Anyway, Sorawo and Toriko were a great duo and it would be nice we saw more of them in animated form. Additionally, not to be mean to Sorawo or anything but I liked Toriko’s design very much. As for the side characters, Kozakura ‘s such an adorable scaredy grump and those two ought to stop scaring her deliberately. It was fun watching Akari’s martial prowess but I gotta say, she’s quite unaware of how much trouble she gets herself into or rather, how the supernatural seeks her out. Also, I liked the vibe between her and Natsumi.

    Lastly, the soundtrack really matched the Otherside’s environment as well as the real world.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Spaceberger says:

    So everyone’s clear, Roadside Picnic inspired Stalker– an early 80’s soviet film by Andrei Tarkovsky (one of Stanley Kubrick’s biggest influences) and the video game series was inspired by Tarkovsky’s movie and the mid-80’s Chernobyl incident.

    If you can find it, watch Stalker. Tarkovsky and several members of the cast and crew (unknowingly, at the time) later lost their lives jusy a few years later as a result of being exposed to toxic industrial runoff in Estonia where its ‘zone’ was filmed.

    Also, thanks for the great write-ups and reviews! I enjoy them a lot.


  12. Pingback: 465th G-View: The Executioner and Her Way of Life | The Yuri Empire

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