What’s the show? ISLAND, Episode 1.
Kind of a low-key, non-descript name there, huh? Indeed, add to that vague and mysterious too. And in some ways it’s the perfect title for an anime like this, it’s short and evocative like US drama’s such as ‘Lost’. And I felt myself reminded of several different Western entertainment properties while watching this show—the early parts of the video game ‘Alan Wake’, and the original 1973 version of ‘The Wicker Man’. Specifically the whole ‘isolated small town doesn’t care for outsiders and has lots of weird things going on’ trope.
Already name-dropped three non-anime things, does this mean it doesn’t ~feel~ like an anime? Oh no, it’s very much still an anime. We’ve got aggressive loli’s, head’s landing in crotches at first meetings, talking about flat chests and not to mention the whole “I don’t know why I’m crying” trope—twice!
So it’s derivative? A more jaded anime watcher might jump to that conclusion, but the whole ‘small town secrets’ trope is a favourite of mine and so seeing it in an anime really got me excited, that and talk of weird things like time travel and tachyon particles and (possibly) vampires gives me hope that this show will end up like some anime/Twin Peaks hybrid!
You’re really going to town on referencing a lot more Western media than you usually do. As I said, it just reminded me of these things—can’t be helped if the anime wears its influences on its sleeves.
So who are our characters? Well we have our protagonist; amnesiac time-traveller Setsuna who washes up on the beach and immediately gets himself involved in ‘shenanigans’ with the mayor’s daughter Karen who’s a head-strong and feisty girl who just wants to leave the island behind! Then there’s mysterious loli number 1, aka Rinne who likes to sing in the moonlight and can’t go in the sun otherwise she’ll die… she’s also a time traveller. Mysterious loli number 2 is Sara, a big-haired shrine maiden who knows a bit about time travel herself, also she’s here to assassinate Setsuna but she’s clumsy and a bit of a ditz, so no harm there.
And what’s it about? I’m not sure yet… it’s a mystery, it’s a harem, it’s science-fiction—and it’s based on a visual novel so it’s no doubt going to get pretty crazy (and hopefully ridiculous) with the plot twists and turns. Either way I’m pretty excited to see where this show goes, I already like Setsuna a lot—which is rare for male protagonists, he’s got a lot more personality than I was expecting and his character design is like half Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop and half Zenji Banba from Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (there’s a show I never thought I’d reference).
So do you recommend people check out the first episode? Sure, I mean there’s going to be things about this show that will immediately turn off people, like I’m totally into the character designs of these girls but I know for other people they will be a problem. Also not a lot happens in the first episode, and while I liked that it’s taking a sort of slow-burn approach to unfolding whatever mysteries it’s going to unfold some people will need more immediate clues as to where this show is going as a whole. But as for me, this will be a show I look forward to watch with every new episode!
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