Written by: Gabriel Castillo | Published on: January 13, 2021
Feels, disturbing new knowledge, a horrifying encounter, and even more questions — the Otherside does not hold back.
After defeating the Kunekune, Sorao and Toriko return from the Otherside with strange changes in their body. They meet Toriko’s friend, a researcher of the Otherside, and consult regarding the changes. Soon after, the two return to the Otherside in hopes of finding Toriko’s friend Satsuki but instead they encounter a peculiar man… and something dangerous! What will happen to Sorao and Toriko? Is the man a friend or foe? How will they get back from the Otherside?
Meeting the Acquaintance
Kozakura is an avid researcher of the Otherside, a friend of Toriko and Satsuki, and a compact cutie. Despite her disheveled appearance, Kozakura is very knowledgeable on matters concerning the Otherside. Apart from her intelligence, she is frank and probably says whatever is on her mind. Having a new character to work with the dynamic of Sorao and Toriko is exciting!
"... you've both had a close encounter of the fourth kind" -Kozakura
All the Feels
Toriko’s resolve to find her friend Satsuki is made clear in this episode. In fact, it seems that Toriko intends on bringing Sorao along for the express purpose of finding Satsuki. Upon realizing this, Sorao, feeling like a runner-up, becomes cold and distant. Ouch. Despite the pain, Sorao still accompanies Toriko on her search. And as the episode goes on, the feelings between Sorao and Toriko become a bit clearer.
Friend or Foe? Crazy or Honest?
Mr. Abarato is quite intriguing. After his wife’s sudden disappearance, Mr. Abarato found a way to the Otherside and searched there. He seems to know his way around the “zone” (as he calls it) and even teaches Sorao and Toriko about deadly “glitches” (basically traps) in the area. Interestingly, Mr. Abarato talks about the inhabitants of the Otherside! Moreover, he mentions that these inhabitants cross from the Otherside to the regular world and do all kinds of devious deeds (e.g., kidnapping people, infiltrating the police). Talk about creepy! Now, does Mr. Abarato seem crazy and paranoid? Or is he speaking the truth? Whatever the case, Mr. Abarato has disclosed some stirring information.
Falling for the Bait
Mr. Abarato, Sorao, and Toriko follow some strange footsteps and find themselves in an abandoned building. What do they find?
Yes. A tall (~240 cm), creepy lady in a white dress and long black hair — Hasshaku-sama. Much like the kunekune, Hasshaku-sama is the focus of another famous internet ghost story. In the light novel, Hasshaku-sama invokes a strong feeling of nostalgia from her victims by superimposing the image of someone close/important to the victim onto itself. The strong feelings lure the victims in and poof – they vanish. The anime does a decent job of presenting such an emotionally manipulative method to the viewers. The encounter has a good mix of creepiness with a side of psychological play.
Author's Rating: 8.2/10
First of all, how cute is Sorao? Secondly, things are getting weirder (in a good way). Lastly, everything will probably become even stranger as the story goes on.
This episode was enjoyable! The small change in dynamic between Sorao and Toriko (i.e., the cold shoulder treatment) was a good indication that feelings were definitely developing. Sorao’s VA was commendable as her change in tone and mood made the emotions feel very real. Although the romance seemed one-sided initially, Toriko gave a little hint that says otherwise.
The new encounters were exciting as they introduced different and frightening aspects of the Otherside (e.g., the inhabitants). Knowing a little more about the world is nice but there are still many questions. Are there actual inhabitants of the Otherside? And do these inhabitants cross to the regular world? If the inhabitants are real, what do they do to humans? How will Sorao and Toriko find out if these inhabitants exist? What other dangers will the duo face on the Otherside?
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