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. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
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. You can also free Sounan Desu ka? anime watch online and free anime download.