After a school trip goes terribly wrong, Homare Onishima, Shion Kujou, Asuka Suzumori, and Mutsu Amatani are left stranded on a deserted island. While Shion, Asuka, and Mutsu are frightened and desperate, Homare seems strangely calm. Fortunately for the group, this isn't the first time she's been stranded! Homare spent her childhood training with her survivalist father all over the world, climbing cliffs, trapping prey, building shelters, and obtaining valuable nutrition from moose testicles. To Homare, surviving on an uninhabited island with a slim chance of rescue is child's play. The only problem is the other three.
As Homare shamelessly guides her classmates through the finer points of survival, including drinking fish blood and eating cicadas, the girls start to realize that being stranded might not be as bad as they had imagined.
Bear Grylls: Waifu Edition… would be a shallow and reductive way to describe this show. Many edutainment anime series fail by wasting their potential. They give you their topical lessons and maybe comedy, but nothing more. No story, no progress, no characters - nothing that is supposed to be the point of fiction in the first place. This isn’t one of them.
The story follows four anime girls stranded on an uninhabited island. While the lessons how to make fire, what to eat, etc. are still there, that doesn’t distract the story from being about characters first and foremost. The episodes aren’t formulaic and follow a
linear continuity, there are no status quo resets, everything that happens affects the situation of our characters in a permanent manner.
Speaking of characters, they are three-dimensional. Both we, the audience, and their own group gradually learn their personalities based on the way they react to the rising challenges - which leads to the establishment of specific character dynamics. You know, the stuff one would call “character drama.” Even more so, despite being a 10-minute episode ecchi comedy, the story manages to dedicate at least some amount of time to explore the mental toll that struggle for survival takes on people.
Last but not least, the survival lessons are actually true to reality, as far as I can tell. Again, edutainment shows will often compromise and employ artistic license in order to not bore the audience to death, undermining their very premise in the process. This doesn’t happen here.
9/10 for a show that succeeds in what it’s trying to do.
Do you know how to make a situation so gloom and bleak feel like nothing? Cute girls obviously. Seriously, cute girls always take a situation so gloom and bleak and make all bright and cheerful. We’ve had many anime where cute girls do cute things and it uplifts the atmosphere into something more cheerful. So what happens when you take four girls and strand them on an Island? Well you get Bear Grylls- The Anime.
Sit back, relax and get a football (or soccer ball for you American readers), draw a face on it and shout “WILSON!!!” as I present to you the anime review
for Sounan Desu Ka? Or by its English name, Are You Lost? Lets begin.
Due to a plane crash, our four main leads, Hormare, Asuka, Mutsu and Shion find themselves to be the only survivors (the rest are probably dead but remember, UPLIFTING). Stranded in the middle of the ocean, they managed to find a stranded island. Now in the middle of nowhere with no outside help. They have to survive. Thankfully, Hormare is experienced and has plenty of survival skills to help these girls survive on the Island.
Honestly, I do think the shorter runtime this show has helps with the pacing. If it were a more standard episode length, I would feel like each episode would drag. But due to the shorter length, its snappy, to the point and only focuses on one, two or even three survival skills that you need in order to survive. So the show moves at a nice pace to prevent the show feel like they are going nowhere as they always find a way to progress.
The main thing about this show that its just as educational as it is a light-hearted, ecchi, adventure comedy. I felt like I learned some things from this show by Hormare and, through flashbacks, her father Jouichi, explaining how to properly handle the situation. A couple of things did bug me, like setting up camp before finding a fresh water source, but the rest was very intriguing. The show does a good balance of making sure you are having fun watching this series while at the same time, you are learning something from it. The fan service never really gets in the way despite it being prominent but they hardly made a big of a deal out of it. There is one thing though that did distract me but I will get to that.
Hormare is what I would consider the main protagonist because she’s the character the show likes to focus on. Considering her knowledge and survival skills, I can clearly see why. But really, she is just a vessel for us to learn new survival skills and not much else. She doesn’t need to progress or have a character arc because she is already arced out. She already has mastered survival skills so what else does she need to learn? In the context of this show, she is basically a Mary Sue and doesn’t have a flaw except maybe social cues. But, it seems she gets better at it over time.
Really the main character progression comes from Asuka, Mutsu and Shion and how they learn to survive and help Hormare. Like us, they start to learn survival skills over time and want to help Hormare more to ease the burden. It's simple yet shows how our cast besides Hormare are learning and what they need to do to survive. That’s basically it. Sure they do grow as characters but their personality's are rather generic and something we have seen countless times from other shows with nothing really unique about them and aren't endearing. They are however, rather relateable due to them having no idea how to survive in this survival situation and as the show goes on, they learn how to.
The animation was done by studio Ezόla, who’s only other work was one of my favourite anime from last year, Happy Sugar Life. Their work on this show however is actually alright. It’s looks lively and has a light-hearted feel to it, appropriate for this series. If the art style was any different or looked more bleak, it would look jarring. So it is used to good use here. The character designs aren’t exactly unique and are distractingly, *ahem* “THICC!” Sure, for an ecchi series, you should be enchanted by how a character looks, but if the show is trying to make you learn something at the same time, you don’t want it to be too distracting. In this case, it is. But that is just me.
Light, bubbly but rather basic are the three words I would use to describe the ost of the series. It does its job at keeping a light tone but it never captures my attention. That is a good thing because if you are ogling at the girls or learning survival skills, then you don’t want it to be a distraction. But I feel like it could have been done better. The ambient sounds though are good and add to the atmosphere, especially when they are on the beach and you can hear the ocean.
The opening “Koko wa Doko” by Ahomushi is one of those sing along openings. Did I sing along? No. But it was a cherpy opening that I didn’t skip. It matches the tone of the show and is trying to have fun while being stranded on an Island. So it is a very solid opening that is appropriate for the show.
The ending is pretty forgettable in my opinion. They try to go for a different look for the ending but it is one of those cases where nothing much happens to be more expressive. I only watched it a couple of times before I decided just to skip it.
I felt like I learned some new things while watching this series. So that means that it has clearly done something right. The show manages to be educational and fun to watch at the same time and the cast of characters, while being rather unremarkable, still acted as good vessels for us to learn new survival skills. As Ezόla second anime, they have done an alright job here. Especially when you consider going from a Psychological Horror series to a Ecchi, adventure comedy as the next show you animate. Although I didn’t find it to be an absolute must watch (or close to it honestly), You can still get some enjoyment from this show and learn some new things along the way. Being a 12 minute, 12 episode series helps if you want to quickly plow through it. So if you are curious, check this one out.
Sounan desu ka? was a short episode show you coulf enjoy while also learning about survival.
The learning about survival part fell a bit short tho so, at least for me, I don't remember that much about how to set up some traps.
There was many fanservice and the characters themselves were pretty likeable too with a decent amount of character development.
It got a very very open end with nothing finished at all and I don't expect a continuation any time soon so to ppl that aren't in for that- or picking up te source material, shouldn't watch it
However as the episodes are short it's a good
show for in between!
"Survivor the Animation." That's how I see this series, like "Sounan Desu ka"! (the Japanese language has A BUTTLOAD ton of ways interpreting the title...)
Compared to Tejina-senpai (which both shows air one after another, with this airing after said series), I find that AT LEAST this series knows its plot so rightaway it doesn't feel overboard with its comedic adventure about basic survival tips and skills should it come in handy one day. Plus, it's "ecchi-cational" (thanks for inspiration @Dr_Sephiroth) and with high school girls instead of guys. BUT WAIT, spoilers if this series entices you to read the manga further (and that's as far
as spoilers will go)!
Anyways, here we are, stranded on an unnamed island after a (supposedly) plane crash, 4 girls must not outwit and outplay, but outlast their way in surviving on the island for God who knows how long. Rounding up the character cast, there's the able-bodied and sporty Asuka Suzumori, being a support in whatever help she could do with less, unlike the one who is OCD about everything and wants to be treated like a princess, Shion Kujou. The studious but shy glasses-girl Mutsu Amatani, and of course, "The Dummies' Guide" to surviving "guru" Homare Onishima. It's no surprise to see all 4 girls having different encounters about surviving in the wilderness, let alone, living on an island and awaiting another day to the day of rescue.
And in the characterization, it's as days as molasses to see that rightaway, Shion is the odd one out, the negativity to living life stranded on the island, and wants to be treated like the rich (since she comes from such a family), but over time, we see her grumbling and complaining less and being part of the team of 4 to help increase their chances of survival. Mutsu on the other hand, is a worrywart most of the time, and it's a VERY natural human reaction to not be able to discern what's next for life you know, could stop at any moment. But like Shion, she soon is able to adapt and help the others going forward. Asuka is the sporty kind, so huge obstacles and such is no match for her spirit of prowess, though she can be a bit of an airhead sometimes. And I most certainly don't need to explain how essential AND critical of a character Homare is, being trained by her dad from young meant that she is capable of any situation when it calls, being able to know the good and bad, along with not the best, but basic tips for survival that rounds the educational aspect of the show. Getting to learn alongside one another knowing different viewpoints never felt this good.
On the animation side, Ezola returns after the first stint that is Happy Sugar Life, with the same production team, director and such. That's not a bad thing really. With good directing, this series could go as far as it wants to, and it did succeed and fail in some areas. Balance of comedy and actual plot was subliminal to say the least with decent art and animation.
Again, OST is just decent and nothing really stands out a whole lot, but just like Tejina-senpai, I can only give it the benefit of the doubt. Hear good? Yea that's honestly fine by me.
Between Tejina-senpai and this one, I'm gonna choose the latter just because of the educational content that builds up per episode, not that we'll be utilizing these tips in our everyday lives, but if come one day where we have to live like these 4 girls, these handy tips come to mind. On the other hand, it's worth a watch on a good break.