REVIEW: ‘Otherside Picnic,’ Episode 3 – “Big-Head Village”

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Ohterside Picnic Episode 3

Otherside Picnic Episode 3 is one of many novel series coming to digital big spring in Winter 2021. A blend of Yuri, science fiction, and horror, Otherside Picnic angles to tantalize viewers with gals being pals in a world full of creepypasta monsters. Otherside Picnic Episode 1, did just that, showcasing the creepy Otherside and setting the stage for a dynamic story.

Otherside Picnic Episode 2 led viewers to encounter Lady Hasshaku. Lady Hasshaku was a deeply discomforting entity that nearly manipulated our twosome in her attempts to ensnare them. Thankfully, Sorao and Toriko were able to escape and even gained a boon from their encounter. Yet, there are still loads of places to explore in the Otherside. This is just what happens in Otherside Picnic Episode 3.

Otherside Picnic Episode 3 starts off in media res with Toriko and Sorao in the Otherside. Melodically haunting music plays as Sorao and Toriko go crashing through a wall, only to encounter the titular Big Heads.

Post-OP, we’re back in Tokyo with Sorao and Toriko meeting, once more, at a bookstore. She’s still pretty hesitant about going there with Toriko. This is despite her being quite eager to go back. After all, Toriko tends to throw caution to the wind in exchange for thrilling, but often dangerous, plunges into the still mysterious Otherside. It helps that Toriko is incredibly pretty and that Sorao has the most obvious crush on her. 

Still, viewers might be wondering if the Otherside is worth all these horrific encounters. I’m still not sure, even though it’s a fascinating place to explore. Regardless of her feelings, Sorao and Toriko venture into their elevator of doom and head back to the unreality of the Otherside, ready for whatever its uneasy realm brings. This time, they’ll be heading to a new location in search of equipment, making this episode a bit of a fetch quest for the girls.

Otherside Picnic Episode 3 doesn’t immediately sink into horror. In fact, it’s actually quite peaceful during its first half. The first half is spent with the girls wandering the wastes of the realm. Once again, the girls have to be wary of glitches. With no way to detect all of them outside of Sorao’s mysterious blue eye, they start chucking rocks, filling their slow meandering with conversation.

There’s something so nice about seeing Sorao and Toriko just having a good time. It further reinforces how powerful the attraction between these lost souls is. Sorao and Toriko continue to be incredibly likable characters, primarily because of how well they mesh together. When their dialogue is paired with the series’ playful soundtrack, Sorao and Toriko become even more enjoyable.

However, that lovely peace doesn’t last for long. And while Otherside Picnic Episode 3 gets into the weeds a bit later than previous episodes, it’s just as satisfying and just as unsettling as the Wiggle-Waggle and Lady Hasshaku. This time, the girls happen upon a ghost town of sorts. Flooded with fog, the area seems completely uninhabited. That is, until things go completely belly-up.

The music shifts beautifully at this point, adding to the tension that views might be feeling as Sorao and Toriko investigate this newfound area. As the fog thickens, the music picks up and the violin (the best of all the spooky instruments) intensifies. Honestly, this is one of my favorite things about this adaptation. The music is so skillfully done that it almost always adds to the scene, whether it’s delightfully peaceful or intensely unsettling. 

In the back half of Otherside Picnic Episode 3, we finally get into the weeds and connect back to the dynamic opening as viewers encounter the Big Heads. The Big Heads are deeply unsettling, moving with a distinctly inhuman gate. They also constantly make sounds that made me think of jello being stepped in and simultaneously jiggled way too fast. It’s deeply unsettling, but honestly, that’s why viewers are here. These moments are some of the best the series has to offer.

In the end, Otherside Picnic Episode 3  balances peaceful moments with suspense so well. It’s the best episode thus far and one of the creepiest to date. I hope that Otherside Picnic has more sequences and moments like the ones in this episode. Seeing Toriko and Sorao work in tandem to escape from imminent danger feels thrilling. So do the quiet and funny moments between the girls. 

Additionally, seeing their bond grow stronger is deeply satisfying. This adaptation hasn’t forgotten that Otherside Picnic is a Yuri: if anything, it gives viewers, and fans of the genre, little tidbits that hint at Sorao and Toriko becoming closer than ever as they venture into the Otherside and attempt to plunge its depths.

Otherside Picnic is streaming now on Funimation.

Otherside Picnic Episode 3
9.5/10

TL;DR

his adaptation hasn’t forgotten that Otherside Picnic is a Yuri: if anything, it gives viewers, and fans of the genre, little tidbits that hint at Sorao and Toriko becoming closer than ever as they venture into the Otherside and attempt to plunge its depths.