REVIEW: ‘Otherside Picnic,’ Episode 9 – “Mrs. Sannuki and Karateka”

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Otherside Picnic Episode 9

Can you believe there’s only four more episodes of Otherside Picnic left this season? I certainly can’t, but here we are with Otherside Picnic Episode 9, “Mrs. Sannuki and Karateka.” Last episode, Sorawo and Toriko took on a client: one Seto Akari, a girl plagued by ninja cats. Hijinks ensued, taking the girls through a Cat Returns-esque realm filled with cats who studied the blade and then some.

Otherside Picnic Episode 9 starts off on yet another typical day with Toriko and Sorawo riding the rails. Our bespectacled narrator mentions that they’ve been to the Otherside, there’s a distinct lack of any mention of one mysterious, missing co-ed. For the last few episodes, the plot has veered away from any mention of Satsuki, despite her being Toriko’s main reason for exploring the Otherside. Viewers can only wonder when we’ll hear more about Satsuki. Seems Otherside Picnic Episode 9 will pick up that plot thread once again.

Otherside Picnic Episode 9 picks up when, once again, Seto Akari makes a request of Sorawo and Toriko. Thankfully, there are no cats this time. Instead, Akari is being plagued by a talking monkey, which is almost as ridiculous as ninja cats. Naturally, Sorawo is reluctant to stick her nose into things. Toriko, however, dives in headfirst, as she has for most of the series.

Here’s the issue.  Akari’s friend Natsumi calls her, telling her she saw a monkey in her front yard. After confirming with a quick snapshot, Sorawo fills in the blank for everyone. Mrs. Sannuki, or Sannuki Kano, is an old woman who the visited person must show human teeth to when she comes to visit. Additionally, the monkey who Natsumi and the girls saw heralds her visit. Kano Sannuki is, of course, a popular bit of nellore, both in and out of the show.

Unfortunately… Natsumi threw the teeth away, which kickstarted the events of Otherside Picnic Episode 9. I mean like, fair enough. I’d be grossed out if some monkey gave me some teeth. I’d probably chuck them as well.

A lot of Otherside Picnic Episode 9 is spent doing the same old same old. Sorawo and Toriko work together in tandem to unravel yet another Otherside-esque mystery.  It’s easy to think that this episode is going to be a bit rote. After all, we’re nine episodes in and 75% the way through this cour. There has to be more “filler” at some point. Yet what sets Otherside Picnic Episode 9 is that the girls are working almost exclusively in the real world. That is to say that they don’t enter the Otherside. Instead, they solve the mystery in Tokyo, with the Otherside’s creepy crawlies interacting with our own reality. It’s a near change to just going to the Otherside for all the adventures.

Additionally, it’s really, really neat to see Sorawo, Toriko, and Akari and Natsumi working in tandem as well. Normally, we only get to see best girls Sorawo and Toriko in action, with occasional single-episode guests. It’s nice seeing the story open up to include more people involved with the Otherside.

In many ways, I think Otherside Picnic is strongest when it lets both worlds merge. It creates this unique uncanny valley that makes my skin itch. The thought that a dark alley could be a portal to a dangerous piece of netlore is thrilling in its own way. The idea that an otherworldly object might bring horrors to your door is downright unsettling. The series is strongest when it leans on that. I think that’s why Otherside Picnic Episode 9 is so enjoyable.

In the end, Otherside Picnic Episode 9 is another satisfying episode. It’s got a lot of creepy tidbits, though viewers who aren’t fans of teeth might find themselves a bit uncomfortable with the plot.

Still, I think that teeth aside, this was a really fascinating episode full of very uneasy bits of tension that yank viewers right back into wondering who, and perhaps what, Satsuki is. I really hope Otherside Picnic delves deeper into the mystery of Satsuki and gives us some payoff in terms of her character.

As I said at the beginning, we’re now nearing the end. Otherside Picnic is slated to be your typical 12-episode cour, which means we’ve only got a few more weeks with the show. I look forward to continuing to cover it as we near the end of our mutual time in the Otherside. Let’s hope that Otherside Picnic delivers a satisfying end!

Otherside Picnic is streaming now on Funimation.

 

 

Otherside Picnic Episode 9 - “Mrs. Sannuki and Karateka”
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

As I said at the beginning, we’re now nearing the end. Otherside Picnic is slated to be your typical 12-episode cour, which means we’ve only got a few more weeks with the show. I look forward to continuing to cover it as we near the end of our mutual time in the Otherside. Let’s hope that Otherside Picnic delivers a satisfying end!