I guess I’ll stay on this island for a little bit longer.
There is something about Island that suckers me into watching more of it. Perhaps it’s a sense of nostalgia; obviously not for the visual novel (though I am thinking about trying its upcoming English release) but just for anime that Island feels inspired from. Back in high school, I got super into anime based on visual novels (unless it was Fate/stay night but that’s a whole other story). Even when I find faults in their logistics, I still find it them so emotionally evocative. The anime based on Key’s visual novels are notable examples for me; Kanon, Air, and Clannad are all among my favorite anime of all time. In a way, I’m getting a similar vibe with Island. The mythos has been horribly confusing and yet I find myself still interested in the characters’ arcs. If that positive can eventually outweigh negative like past visual novel anime could, then maybe I’ll end up really liking Island.
Regarding Episode 3 itself, I did come out of it enjoying Island more than I’ve had for the past two episodes. The simple reason is that the entire trip to the beach at the beginning was very entertaining. Setsuna, Sara, and Karen all scheme together to tempt Rinne into going the beach with them, either by making it sound like they’re having a blast or by pretending that Setsuna is getting showered with love. Having the three read off a corny script they wrote was amusing in of itself but it gets even funnier with how Rinne’s mind visualizes it in her dreams. This girl has a dirtier mind than expected. The real capper though is when Island baits you into think Rinne will change to a swimsuit only to arrive on the beach in an astronaut suit. I don’t get how she got that costume but, for once, I don’t care. That was just funny. As far as character development goes, this was a great sign of growth for Rinne. She has lied to herself so much about her condition that it’s hard to finally get back in the sunlight but thanks to Setsuna, she is growing out of it step by step.
If I had to pick a weak spot for this episode, I would say that it’s what happens in the middle. While venturing in the beach, Sara and Karen discover a shack and the very sight of the place causes Rinne to faint. Once she recovers, she explains that the shack was where she met the first person she ever called “Setsuna”. I’m thinking that this Setsuna is actually the same one that we’re following and that Rinne is also the girl in his flashbacks though Island insists on staying hush-hush about it. I get that it’s saving it for later but it would benefit the show if it wasn’t acting so cryptic all the time.
There’s also the montage of everyone having a good time that happens right after. It’s a pleasant scene though I worry if it was created for the anime rush through content from the visual novel. It would be a shame if it’s abridging moments where you get to see the characters become a tightly knit group.
One thing I have wondered about Island was how its narrative would be structured. Tons of visual novel anime of old like to cover all of its routes edited into one continuity (unless it’s Fate/stay night but again, that’s a whole other story). I can imagine Island is following suit as the ending puts a particular emphasis on Karen’s daddy issues. Something clearly went down once her dad found about her job at the Ohara residence. I was a little stunned that she demanded Setsuna to have sex with her though when you consider how impulsive her decisions have been, it’s not too out of the ordinary. If I had to guess, Island is getting ready to tackle Karen’s arc first and I’m curious to see how it’ll transpire.
Thanks for reading!
Island is officially available on Crunchyroll.
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