Yes, let’s. There are an awful lot of complains about this little anime. Some I agree with and some I absolutely don’t. Sure there might be some issues with the storytelling, I can understand that some would argue that. And maybe the story itself is a bit messy but whatever, I can’t see an issue really because… You know what, screw this; here’s what I think about ISLAND!
This is one huge SPOILER ALERT!!!
I’m not gonna make any deep analysis; I sees as I hear it. I liked ISLAND. A lot. So much that I binged the first ten episodes after I curiously had read Cactus Matt’s post about episode ten, where in Satsuna and Rinne, the two main characters, had sex. Yup, you read me right, I started to watch an anime I didn’t have a clue existed because the perverted me wanted to see an obscure, shitty sex scene out of curiosity even though I knew exactly how it would look, courtesy of Matt, who had done his utmost to screen shot said scene. I am perverse that way, or maybe I just wanted to know what the fuss was about. The loudmouths were extremely loud about that particular scene.
Let’s back up a bit though; ISLAND for those of you who don’t know is an anime about a young man who is flushed up on a strange island in the middle of nowhere (although there is a perfectly fine ferry taking folks to and from the mainland in no time but let’s forget about that). On this island lives three families who rule the world.. sorry the island. Some mysterious illness has cursed it’s inhabitants and some just goes poff if they go out into the sun. This is all blamed on an ancient myth where a brother and sister; Setsuna and Rinne, became lovers and had intercourse. Yeah, loudmouths scream out loud. Incest ahoy! Anyway, Satsuna and Rinne meet and Rinne is convinced that Satsuna is her destined lover. All according to the myth.
And, back up again. Think about it; she is very desperate to believe that Satsuna is her lover because, why? Fuck knows (okey, the myth perhaps) but she is very annoying with this whole thing. Can I now tell you that I don’t care for her at all during these 12 episodes? I don’t root for her one second and I wish every moment that she won’t end up with Satsuna. I know this whole idea is that she should but something is off with Satsuna the minute he is thrown up on that beach. You’ll see…
Satsuna comes from the future. Or maybe not. The confusion is total with this one. Apparently you can only go forwards and not backwards so he’s from the behind, sorry past, but still he’s there to save the day. Maybe. He can’t really remember. But somehow he might remember Rinne. At least she makes sure he does. You see, she confuses him with another Satsuna, her former secret lover, who in reality is her step brother (which I am a bit unsure if she knew about or not because of reasons I might explain later on). When she realises he is not she decides that this [our] Satsuna is her Satsuna anyway. I did mention confusion. Don’t blame me if you are confused, it is not easy to explain this in a few short words, you should just watch the anime. It is good, annoying Rinne or not.
Well, stuff happens, there is a cute assassin who has as a goal to kill Satsuna. Sara, she is my spirit animal. Unfortunately she stops with her shenanigans early on. There is a whole story behind her actions, a very tragic one. She believes she is her own mother and stuff. This is a time traveling anime, okey. Karen, daughter of the mayor, just wants to run away and see her mom, who she is convinced abandoned her. Well, what did I say about the ferry folks? A fake wedding with the policeman and a pact with her cute brother, whom we never see again, helps her escape. She’s soon back though. Three little high school (or are they in middle school? No, I think high school) girls who are always together, giggling and talking, giving silly comments now and then. Extras if you will. Friends with Karen.
Oh yeah, the most important person of them all; Rinne’s mom Kuon. Kuon is a shut in. She communicates with notes under the closed door to her room. She comes out rarely, only to get massages from Sara. She’s cute, looking exactly like her daughter. It’s no mystery that Setsuna almost falls in love with Rinne. Oh boy, what do you mean by that, weren’t you talking about Kuon? Yeah well, obviously. I did mention a sex scene in the beginning right? Well, Setsuna didn’t have sex with Rinne, he had sex with her mother while he was in the past. He then left Kuon (or rather Rinne but that’s another story. Kuon/Rinne decided that her daughter would be named Rinne for reasons. Watch the anime if you want to know why. It’s just gonna be long and confusing to explain. It has to do with the other Setsuna and his mother though.) to go back and save the future because he failed miserably the first time. You know, that time he woke up naked and didn’t have a memory at all.
It is a mess, sure, you can chose to look at it like that. Or, you can take time and actually think about what is happening. It’s an anime about time traveling. Something bad has happened and somewhere in the future this is known. Setsuna comes back to fix the problem but the first time he fails. Rinne dies. Kuon blames Setsuna of course and asks him to fix it so he goes back in time again and meets the original Rinne, Kuon that is, and falls in love with her. And this time it is love, real love. He might have been attracted to Rinne and perhaps it was some kind of crush but he actually loves Rinne 2. So much so they even get married and they sleep with each other, making her pregnant, before he once again leaves to save the future, and their daughter. None of them knows that at that given moment of course but when he comes back Rinne 2/Kuon knows. It takes Setsuna a while to realise but when he does everything is clear to him and in the end the right Rinne get’s her Setsuna. No, there is no incest. Thank God! Not that I am against incest, but I really don’t like Rinne. I have been rooting for Rinne 2 since she entered the picture. I cried like a little baby when he left her in the past/future and I cried when he went down on his knees and proposed, both in the past/future and in the present, and when they got married. Rinne 2 just makes me cry in a good way.
So there you have it; I cried this morning because this precious little anime is over. I will watch it again now that I know fully what is going on. Sure, there are still problems. I don’t get this whole “you can only go forward in time and not back wards because you are really only frozen in time” and still Setsuna seems to be able to go backwards and forwards to Rinne 2. But I might miss something and that something might be clear to me if I watch it again. I am seriously thinking of playing the game too because I feel like there is a lot more to the story than this. As with many visual novel adaptations it is hard to fit all routes and endings in 12 episodes and you can tell that there is holes that at least I want to fill. Karen and Sara’s happy (?) endings got one episodes each and that is just not enough. And yeah, the game is an all ages game and no, there is no fan service so go complain about it being one of those games somewhere else. It is not. The only thing worrying me when I have read about it is the fact that Rinne 2 doesn’t seem to have her own route.
Well, I have rambled enough now. Let’s finish this with: I love ISLAND.