The Ones Within – Ep. 2

Sick again. How many times has it been this summer?

Anyway, I really need to ask this: is The Ones Within supposed to be this stupid?

I was under the assumption that this was going to be some edgy survival/competition series. If that really is the goal then this show is clearly failing at it. No way am I going to look at four teenagers hatching a panda girl with an afro out of an egg and think it’s scary or intense. And by panda girl, I mean a girl with a literal panda head, not the usual animal ears on humans approach (the things anime makes me clarify). If stupid really is the case then I’d say it’s passing with flying colors. At the end of the day, I can’t look at what I just described and not find it a little funny. If there’s more absurdities where it came, I can see myself sticking with this show just for that.

Maybe stupid is the way to go because frankly, the execution of the whole “trapped in a video game” premise has been a little weak. This episode is admittedly closer to evoking the Let’s Play angle than the premiere as it’s all about the gang raising the panda girl so that she can get a boyfriend, much like what you’d do in a visual novel or in a raising simulator. The problem though is that due to the show only running at half an hour, it’s only able to show just one love interest and a pretty unlikable one at that. Where’s the multitude of guys you can date or the possible branching paths? I can’t help but feel this show isn’t going all out with its premise and I say that knowing that it just showed me a girl with a panda head and an afro.

For what it’s worth, I am starting to warm up to some of the characters. Akatsuki is still the big draw for me with how accepting he is of all the weird stuff annoying around him. One character that pleasantly surprised me is Himiko (Manaka Iwami/Kate Bristol), a timid Let’s Player whose overzealous passion for simulation games awakens a more aggressive side of hers. She also apparently carries flash grenades for self-defense or to annoy people annoying her. How she got flash grenades is beyond me but I’ll chalk it up as part of the show being stupid.

The one providing the hook for the next episode htough is Yuzu (Kaori Nazuka/Marissa Lenti), a streamer who has met Akatsuki online prior to the start of the story. She seems to be one of the smarter characters. In this episode, she invites Karin to a hotspring and uses her to yuri bait the audience, thereby allowing the gang to realize that even people who aren’t currently participating in the challenges can still contribute to the stream’s viewcount. She also might be one of the crazier characters as evidenced by the ending where you find out that she has a shrine full of Akatsuki pictures. I would ask how she got that shrine to come along with her into the game world but that’s probably the least of my concerns with this anime.

ED: “Boku wo Mitsukete” by fhana

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