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My earlier suspicions about Matoba and the JSDF’s real goals are confirmed in the penultimate episode of

Outbreak Company.

It’s a bittersweet feeling to be right about this.  The Japanese government has had the express goal from the beginning to get the Eldantians addicted to Japanese popular culture so thoroughly that they can’t function on a day-to-day basis without it.  In order to accomplish this goal, they tricked Shinichi into willingly helping them out with this task.  Their next step is to limit the supply of Japanese pop culture into Eldant so they can control the citizens there.

This is cultural imperialism at its finest.  Rather than take military action to invade another realm, Japan has decided to use its popular culture to take it over.  I’m a little bit surprised that this is actually the plot of Outbreak Company, even if it’s been hinted at for a while.  Japanese nationalism has always seemed pretty strong to me, so I’m shocked that there’s an anime coming out that acknowledges Japan’s imperialist tendencies.  Sure, it’s a watered down form of imperialism, from military incursions that actually occurred in Japan’s past to a cultural incursion, but it’s still a somewhat surprising acknowledgement of that history.

Since Shinichi is such a nice guy and has come to care about the people of Eldant, he’s put in a horrible situation.  He can’t tell anyone what’s going on, and he doesn’t want to continue invading another realm, but he can’t stop if he wants to live.  Matoba points out very bluntly that Shinichi is disposable if he doesn’t do what the Japanese government wants; his disposability is precisely the reason he was chosen for the job.

Of course, Shinichi seems incapable of keeping anything from Miusel, and reveals everything to her.  And in true Miusel fashion, she convinces him that his presence in Eldant has been a good thing and that he should continue his work.  So the next day, he makes a proposal to Petrarca: Eldant should make its own products, so Japan can’t control the supply anymore.  That’s what you call genius.

The question this leaves us with is what exactly will happen to Shinichi now?  Matoba is obviously upset about this new turn of events, but what will he do to Shinichi?  The last episode promises to be an intense one!

Outbreak Company Episode 12 Preview

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