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Outbreak Company introduces us to Shinichi Kanou, a young man who is offered every otaku’s dream – making his hobby into a job!
This anime opens with a scene of Shinichi sitting in front of his computer and applying for a job by taking a 200-question test. While he answers the questions, the camera pans around his room to display dakimakura, figurines, anime DVDs, and manga, not-so-subtly showing us that he’s an otaku. After getting a perfect score on the test, Shinichi attends an interview at a company called Amutec. During the interview, he is drugged and passes out, waking up to find himself in another realm!
Shinichi is now the general manager of Amutec, a joint venture between Japan and the Holy Eldant Empire (the ruling power of the other realm) in order to introduce Japan’s popular culture to their new neighbors. Although Shinichi is reluctant at first, this is pretty much an otaku’s dream job: being able to get paid for their hobby. Better yet, he gets to live in a world that’s basically an embodiment of many of his favorite things!
Fanservice aside (honestly, how could there be an anime focused on an otaku without a little focus on fanservice?), Outbreak Company is off to a pretty great start. I’m a fan of any piece of popular culture that critiques its own fans to some extent, because it makes those fans take a step back and think about how they act. This, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s anything wrong with being an otaku; in fact, this anime in particular is praising that hobby in many ways (rewarding Shinichi’s hobby with a job).
I’d also like to briefly mention the soundtrack. The soundtrack is very fitting for the anime, often times consistent with what one might hear in a fantasy video game (like Skyrim, for example). The big brass fanfares throughout the latter part of this episode, in particular, definitely help to add a regal sense to the events going on.
So far, this anime is a good mix of fantasy and social commentary. I’m looking forward to meeting more characters as the series progresses.
Outbreak Company OP
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Outbreak Company ED
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Outbreak Company Episode 2 Preview
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