One Wedding And A Belated Funeral – ‘Island’ Episode 4 Review

What’s the show? Island, Episode 4.

So what’s new on the Island? Quite a lot in fact! I dare say this is the single most eventful episode of the show so far—kind of funny that it’s come at Episode 4 where a lot of people probably stopped watching at Episode 3 because of that silly ‘three episode rule’. But whatever, their loss!

You sound bitter… are you bitter? Oh always, especially when it comes to shows I am ~particularly~ fond of like this one.

That’s right, you tell ’em Queen Amidala!

Right. So what’s so “eventful” about this episode? Hurry up and convince people to watch past episode 3. I don’t think there’s anything I could say that would convince people who’ve dropped this show to pick it up again but I’m going to ‘speed round’ the basic plot points to show just how much happens in this episode. Karen is ‘arranged’ to be married in order to secure the family name in accordance with Island tradition—she goes to Setsuna for help and she agrees to break up the wedding, with the help of Sara who is officiating the ceremony as well as Karen’s brother and a sea captain. Escaping the Island, Karen and Setsuna arrive in mainland Japan in order to search for Karen’s mother. After following the directions provided by her brother they arrive at the intended destination, only to find her mother’s grave. After some initial grieving Karen is interrupted by a hyperactive girl named Momoka who used to work with Karen’s mother! Turns out Karen’s mother didn’t leave the island to pursue another man as her father always told her but because she was offered a professorship in marine science—a subject she was passionate about! With this sense of closure, and most of her questions answered Karen and Setsuna return to the island with a sense of purpose—to change the archaic traditions of the island and bring about a revolution!

I legit shed a tear. Poor Karen.

Okay… I admit, that’s a lot for just one episode. And that’s not even to mention all the little character moments like with Rinne’s more positive outlook and Sara’s anxiety over not having the power to cure the Sootblight Syndrome and Karen’s brothers seemingly overeager willingness to help in everything and the biggest piece of information the episode drops (repeatedly) that the current year in the anime is 1998!

Sounds like the life of the party…

Uh, okay. Why is that important? I don’t know, but it is! The camera lingers twice on a calendar reading that date as well not-so subtly referencing paper tickets for catching trains (which are obsolete in Japan and have been for a while) and also name-dropping Y2K. Being that this show is ~eventually~ going to incorporate some time travel elements, the fact that the year is brought up so much means there’s undoubtedly going to be a time skip soon!

Srs loli, activate!

And I take it you’re excited for that? Of course I am! Time skips forward are among my favourite narrative devices—even if it’ll probably just be brief. But then again who knows! This show is like an intricate puzzle-box and I have no idea where it’s going or what’s around the next corner but I’m loving every minute of it all the same!

Did I mention this show is still unfailingly beautiful? Because it is, like damn!

Previous Island Reviews:

The Island of Mysterious Loli’s – Episode 1 Review
A Loli A Day… – Episode 2 Review
Dreams Of Fan Service – Episode 3 Review


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8 comments

  1. Psst, Japanese train travel is still accomplished with paper tickets (with magnetic stripe backing). Especially intercity and rural. Suica cards are convenient, but not used by everyone.

    I thought the ending of the episode was a little easy. Just come back and (almost) everything’s ok, the only person who’s got a beef with Karen is her dad, and she didn’t have a great relationship with him in the first place. Kinda makes you wonder why she couldn’t just arrange to do all that stuff without the sham wedding? Everyone supported her anyway. Seemed like making an unnecessary mountain out of a molehill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I had a feeling I’d be quickly proven wrong about the ticket thing. I just figured since they highlighted it so obviously that it was meant to be a part of the “this is the past” hints. But could have easily just as been “Karen doesn’t know how things work in the real world” now that I think about it. Oh well!

      I do agree this episode very conveniently put us back where the series more or less was at the start but it was a very important episode emotionally for Karen so I’ll let it slide. (But perhaps I’m far to forgiving in general)

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      1. Yeah, I think it was your second thing, “Karen doesn’t know how the world works.” But then in the Oku-san manga, Oku-san doesn’t understand how others use their phones to pay train fares, so it’s not just Karen.

        I thought it was a good episode, it just seemed overly elaborate and complicated to go through all that to get Karen off the island if everyone was willing to help her out anyway, just to stick it to her dad a little bit more.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I feel like that she needed to get it out of her system though, she’d never have been happy if her bro just out and out told her their Mother was dead—she needed to see it for herself she needed to leave the island to know that it could be done and she wasn’t trapped there. Even if it’s just as a symbolic thing, rather than a permanent thing, I think everything that needed to happen was to satisfy that part of her that wouldn’t be quenched any other way. Yes it would have been easier for her brother to just help her and explain everything but it wouldn’t be right by her character.

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      3. I don’t mean that he just tells her. I mean she just went and got on a boat and did the same trip she did, without the “running away from a wedding” part. Go see the mainland. Find her mother. Go to a convenience store. I just felt like the wedding part was kinda weird and overdone.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hmm, maybe I guess it was just the writer’s way of forcing everyone’s hand. She’d been kind of wishy-washy about the whole ‘running’ away thing like Sara had said to Setsuna in the previous episode so the big threat of an arranged marriage was what tipped her over and gave her the impetus to run away. And it being at a wedding arranged by her father being the ultimate act of rebellion rather than just one day randomly leaving. Symbolically it was the ultimate “F U” to her father. But I can understand where you’re coming from, and at the very least it was pretty rushed.

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