Don’t get me wrong.
Fall 2013 is already a brilliant season for anime and you’ll be hearing more about this very soon. However there is always one show, like that one dickhead in your class at school, that drags the whole things down a notch. But luckily, you can avoid the dickhead that is Outbreak Company. And this is why you should.
It’s worth mentioning that Outbreak Company is an incredibly ‘safe’ show.
What I mean by this is that it’s basically guaranteed to reel in a bunch of views thanks to a slathering of Otaku bait (by means of references), a dash of fanserivce, and a faceless MC designed almost purely for self-insertion purposes. It avoids risks, and for these reasons it will almost definitely make money.
Now, just because Outbreak company is ‘safe’, this does not mean it will definitely be bad. It does help though.
The main reasons for Outbreak Company’s failure are fairly ironic but by no means unpredictable. The show is presented as a parody of the many tired tropes and conventions found in anime, but while it attempts to poke fun at these ideas, it also commits the very same sins. Often.
The MC is yet awkward high-schooler with questionable social skills. The female characters are brainless and immature. For example, the half-elf (Myucel) exists only so that the MC can teach her things (like how to read) for his own self-gratification. She learns to quickly adore him because her life is a sob story and it’s implied no-one else is really nice to her. I don’t know if this was meant to be funny, but it just makes me cringe. She’s also a maid. Of course.
Petralka, the loli-queen, is in many ways different to Myucel but just as equally boring. Her dialogue is textbook tsundere, and it’s hard to find any humor in her character because she’s just rude and irritating… But she’s a parody of every other tsundere ever, so that’s hilarious, right..?
Problem is, it’s not.
If Outbreak Company was an American sitcom it would need a laugh track so that it’s audience knows when it should laugh. Have you seen that youtube clip of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ without a laugh track and you realise it nothing more than a couple of pop culture references and uninspired dialogue? Outbreak Company is kinda like that.
If you’ve read this far you might be thinking something like “Wow, 8bit obviously doesn’t understand that this show is a parody. Why is he poking holes in this show when it’s ment to be a joke?”.
…And that’s because the joke simply fails to land. The gags are tacky and obvious. The only funny thing about Outbreak Company is that, ironically, its own characters and style of narrative are more contrived than the material it’s attempting to satirize.
I was going to mention how in episode 4 we’re actually supposed to take the show seriously and wonder if Myucel actually died (guess what, she didn’t), but after comparing any form of media to “The Big Bang Theory” I feel like I’ve made my point clear. Avoid this show – Fall is brimming with awesomeness so don’t waste your time.
Lastly – I’ll mention that I do actually enjoy comedy and I’m aware that not all anime is SERIOUS BUSINESS.
However, comedy does not really exist if you aren’t even smiling! Fuck Outbreak Company.