At this point I’ve accepted the fact that I am never, ever going to be caught up on anime – I am to be an eternal victim of Unlimited Backlog Works. As a result my eyes have only just trained themselves onto Outbreak Company, which finished airing a good year ago now. Which is essentially a millennia in anime terms.
For those of you that haven’t seen it, Outbreak Company’s setting is a very cut and paste “hero trapped in a fantasy world” fiasco. Shinichi Kanou (main character, generic, barely likeable) is sent into the fantasy-esque kingdom of Eldant by the Japanese government. His goal? To spread otaku culture to the infidel. Hijinks ensue. This all sounds exceptionally average – and it is, whilst managing to remain rather enjoyable – but what it really does here is set up all the necessary bases for the 2013 Showcase of Rather Excellent References™*. I’ve put together some of the more interesting ones for your viewing pleasure.
* Not actually ™. We lied. Sorry.
Eldant is Vana’diel from Final Fantasy XI
Okay, no, it isn’t. That would incur the wrath of Square Enix’s legal department – which could well be the most time efficient part of the entire company. But what is fairly interesting is how our titular main character explicitly states that the capital city of Eldant, Marinos is “just like San d’Oria in Vanna“. Nice save there, friend. Shinichi is referring to the capital city of Vana’diel, which is coincidentally also called San d’Oria.
They’ve even got chocobos here, too! I wonder how long it’ll take the Holy Empire of Eldant to breed a golden one.
That Sports Anime Episode
Episode 6 of Outbreak Company is an absolutely magnificent showing of references and fan-service aplenty for those who love sports anime. The denizens of Eldant are urged to overcome their racial prejudices and tensions by (you guessed it), competing against one another in a good old game of soccer. The entire 20 minute segment gives tributes to classics such as The Prince of Tennis, Inuzama Eleven, Captain Tsubasa, and Kuroko no Basuke – resulting in it becoming becoming a sports lover’s sweaty buzzer beater victory over more prolific moé references. Just go and watch it, you’ll likely enjoy yourself more than you probably should.
Oh, Minori also has a manga called Freedom! Case closed.
Metal Gear Doujinshi
Not an actual Metal Gear doujinshi, despite how incredible that sounds. In episode 8, aptly entitled “The Melancholy of the Supreme Ruler”, Empress of Eldant and resident loli tsundere archetype Petrarca goes missing. Shock, horror. Time for some Tactical Espionage Action.
It’s not a cardboard box, but it’ll have to do.
Eroge to distract the guards? This guy’s a pro. Snake himself would be truly proud. Now I’m looking forward to the unfortunately non-existent episode where he beats Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in a single sitting. Maybe for Season 2, huh?
Outbreak Company Contains The Motherload
Seeing as spreading otaku culture to Eldant is an official government operation in the world of Outbreak Company, Shinichi and co. receive a hefty amount of funding. But what do they do with it? Well, they build the most mouth watering office packed with anime memorabilia in the world, and alongside it a school dedicated solely to becoming a better otaku, of course. Each month, a new shipment of the latest and rarest releases comes in, and each episode you grow more and more jealous that you’ll never own a fraction of these veritable wonders.
If you end up giving the series a shot, I implore you to attempt to count every single reference within the memorabilia on show in both the office and school throughout. There are literally hundreds – I couldn’t manage it.
Outbreak Company is a really fun little show that doesn’t take itself seriously whatsoever – perfect to wind down after a busy day with for an episode or two, here and there. You don’t really need my recommendation though; from screenshots alone you can likely understand the kind of anime it is and whether you’ll find it at all appealing to check out. If you do, however, let us know what other references you found! There are a ton more secrets to uncover – maybe take a look at the TV Tropes page for the show for some more interesting finds!
If Outbreak Company isn’t enough be sure to check out our February Moe Day video game pre-orders! Akiba’s Trip on the PS4, Criminal Girls, and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 — we’ve got ’em all. Take a look here.
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