The Trouble With Outbreak Company, Or, Why This Show Sucks

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.

Are you being pandered to yet? Good, now go buy the BDs.

Are you being pandered to yet?
Good, now go buy the BDs.

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.

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4 Responses to The Trouble With Outbreak Company, Or, Why This Show Sucks

  1. I kinda had hopes for this one after it drew from some less-generic source material like Kaiji and Bastard in the second episode, but it has pretty much ditched that in favor of more standard harem fare. I really don’t like how they abandoned the plotline that the protagonist was going to expose his students to different genres and instead had all the classroom scenes be about really specific memes. Why bother having a show about the cultural strength of anime if you’re just going to use it to accentuate the weird quirks that don’t carry that much mass appeal?

    • Good call!
      I was keen to see it at first too… But luckily I didn’t bank on it being awesome. Just because they shove in a bunch of references and whatnot doesn’t make a show funny.

  2. jitsch says:

    Totally my thoughts. I mean, it’s kind of interesting to try and catch all the references, but that’s about all that makes me keep watching. Finding the Precure References.

    I also hate the drawing style. I don’t know why, because I’m not sure if I can say it’s generic, but anyways I like how they seem to be unable to draw faces where, by looking at the face only, you can distinguish genders. They all look cute, even the males.
    And in the latest episode there was that scene where the main character got slapped. Next scene he had a red spot on his face that looked like he’s got some skin disease.

    Also, when I heard about this first I was like “oh, they’re trying to do a realistic approach to the whole >finding another world< theme". They're not. I mean, nobody in the show takes anything serious. Not even the executives (like the Old men from the kingdom, or the guys from the military). I thought this was going into a darker direction with discrimination being a big topic (so far it's just an excuse for Miusel to like Shinichi). The resistance never showed up again and everyone seems to be fine with some guys from another world putting their weird pop culture on them. And no, it's not realistic that everyone once exposed to Anime material immediately becomes an Otaku….

    I just can't stand that "everything is nice and everyone is having fun" atmosphere that started around episode 3 or 4 (when Petrarca stopped treating Miusel like shit).

    Yesterday I talked to someone who said what nice characters Petrarca and Miusel are… Personally, I just want to punch them in the face most of the time. And the main character is just so average that I just don't even care.

    • Well said, friend.

      I dropped this show around episode 5 but I had the same issue with basically every character – they’re all totally flat! Flatter than flat. And you’re totally right about how awfully they handled the issue of discrimination, they just shouldn’t have brought it in at all.

      I think part of the reason it sucks is that the show doesn’t want to be taken seriously, but then throws a bunch of issues and plot devices at the viewer with zero context and expect us to keep watching because there are funny references, or something.

      Bad show is bad. But at least there’s a bunch of other awesome shows out this season 🙂

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