Otherside Picnic (裏世界ピクニック Ura Sekai Pikunikku) is a Japanese yuri sci-fi novel series written by Iori Miyazawa and illustrated by shirakaba. Published by Hayakawa Publishing, the series has 5 volumes published since February 23, 2017, with volume 6 in the works. 

The series has also been adapted into an ongoing manga series that began serialization in Shonen Gangan on February 10th, 2018, and will be published in English on August 31, 2021 by Square Enix. The series has also been adapted to an anime series that premiered on January 4, 2021.

J-Novel Club published a physical omnibus counterpart for the novels. The first omnibus which contains volumes 1 and 2 was released December 1, 2020. A second omnibus containing volumes 3 and 4 is set to release on August 4, 2021.

Plot

The series focuses on Sorawo Kamikoshi and Toriko Nishina, two young women who discover doors leading to the Otherside, a new world full of mystery that exists alongside our own. Where dangerous beings like the Kunekune and Hasshaku-sama that are spoken of in real ghost stories appear.

These doors can appear all over the place, such as in a run-down apartment building or by pressing a certain combination on an elevator. For research, for profit, and to find an important person, Toriko and Sorawo set foot into a new world in this story of bizarre exploration and survival.

Media

Novels

The series is written by Iori Miyazawa, illustrated by shirakaba, and published by Hayakawa Publishing since February 2017. There are five volumes currently published, volume six in the works is set to release in March 2021. Also in December 2020, a junior edition of the Otherside Picnic novel will be published under the children's book label Hayakawa Junior Books (Hayakawa junia bukkusu).[1] J-Novel Club published 3 volumes of the novels in English, with its 4th volume to be released on December 27, 2020.

Each novel of the series contains 3-4 Files, which are composed of chapters focusing on a specific true ghost story or net lore the protagonists encounter. An additional content called 'Works Referenced' is also found at the end of the novel where Iori Miyazawa mentions published works he referenced as well as the origin of the stories, such as pre-existing true ghost stories, net lore and those found on 2chan copypasta boards.

Volume 1 (Novel)
Otherside Picnic: Their Strange Exploration Files
Novel Cover 1 English.jpg
Information
Release Date EN.gif September 23, 2019
ISBN EN.gif ISBN 978-1-7183-5998-7
Publisher EN.gif J-Novel Club
List of Chapters

Volume 1 (Novel)
이세계 피크닉. 1 두 사람의 괴물 탐험 파일
Othersidepicnic-1-korean-cover.jpg
Information
Release Date KR.gif March 5, 2020
ISBN KR.gif ISBN 979-1-1650-7451-7
Publisher KR.gif Somi Media Co., Ltd.
List of Chapters

Volume 3 (Novel)
裏世界ピクニック3 ヤマノケハイ
Novel Cover 3 Japanese.jpg
Information
Release Date JP.gif November 20, 2018
ISBN JP.gif ISBN 978-4-15-031351-7
Publisher JP.gif Hayakawa Shobo
List of Chapters

Volume 3 (Novel)
Otherside Picnic 3: Yamanoke Presence
V3-Cover-EN.PNG
Information
Release Date EN.gif April 12, 2020
ISBN EN.gif ISBN 978-1-7183-6002-0
Publisher EN.gif J-Novel Club
List of Chapters

Volume 4 (Novel)
裏世界ピクニック4 裏世界夜行
Novel Cover 4 Japanese.PNG
Information
Release Date JP.gif December 19, 2019
ISBN JP.gif ISBN 978-4-15-031408-8
Publisher JP.gif Hayakawa Shobo
List of Chapters

Volume 4 (Novel)
Otherside Picnic 4: Overnight on the Otherside
Volume 4 cover eng.jpg
Information
Release Date EN.gif December 27, 2020
ISBN EN.gif ISBN 978-1-71-836004-4
Publisher EN.gif J-Novel Club
List of Chapters

Volume 5 (Novel)
Otherside Picnic 5: Hasshaku-sama Revival
Volume-5-Cover.jpg
Information
Release Date EN.gif TBA
ISBN EN.gif TBA
Publisher EN.gif J-Novel Club
List of Chapters

Volume 6 (Novel)
裏世界ピクニック6 Tは寺生まれのT
Vol6-novelcover.png
Information
Release Date JP.gif March 17, 2021
ISBN JP.gif ISBN 978-4-15-031476-7
Publisher JP.gif Hayakawa Shobo
List of Chapters
  • TBA

Volume 6 (Novel)
Otherside Picnic 6: "T" is for T Born in a Temple
Vol6-novelcover.png
Information
Release Date EN.gif TBA
ISBN EN.gif TBA
Publisher EN.gif J-Novel Club
List of Chapters
  • TBA

Manga

The manga adaptation of the Otherside Picnic illustrated by Eita Mizuno began serialization in February 2018 by Square Enix's Shonen Gangan magazine and currently has four volumes published since August 2018. In July 2020, Square Enix Manga & Books, which is the North American publishing division of Square Enix, licensed the manga for an English release both physically and digitally on August 31, 2021.[2]

Anime

On March 5, 2020, Shonen Gangan, a manga imprint of Square Enix Holdings, announced that Iori Miyazawa’s science fiction Yuri series, Otherside Picnic would be adapted into a TV anime. The anime adaptation will be directed by Takuya Satō, who is also working on the series composition at LIDENFILMS and FelixFilm. A second PV is released, featuring the latest cuts from the production. The Otherside Picnic anime is scheduled to release on January 2021, and will star Yumiri Hanamori as Sorawo Kamikoshi and Ai Kayano as Toriko Nishina.[3] Rina Hidaka and Miyu Tomita were also announced to join the cast as Kozakura and Akari Seto, respectively.

An exclusive special program was streamed on NicoNico with Yumiri Hanamori (Sorawo), Ai Kayano (Toriko) and Rina Hidaka (Kozakura) was held last December 13th. The first four minutes of the anime was presented during the said stream. A mini-web program "Otherside Tokubetsu Activity Report" was also released on the same day, where Yumiri Hanamori and Ai Kayano talk about the 'otherside' in a 5-minute episode-format which is being released every Sunday[4]

Others/Collaborations

Special Book Fair Collab held in Yurindo, Akiba

An Otherside Picnic café collaboration is currently being held in Yurindo Yodobashi Akiba Café Shop to commemorate the release of both volume 5 of the manga and the novel, as well as the upcoming anime[5]. Visual boards and illustrations from the original novel and anime are displayed throughout the shop and a free postcard is given to customers who ordered at the cafe during the fair. The special book fair collaboration will be held until January 12, 2021. A book fair collaboration for Otherside Picnic has also occurred before in Yurindo for the release of the fourth volume of the novel which was held last December 2019.

Trivia/s

  • Otherside Picnic first appeared in SF Magazine's August 2016 Issue as a one-shot short story. 
  • Contrary to popular belief, Otherside Picnic is not a light novel. The novels are published by Hayakawa Publishing, a well-known SF Publishing Company that does not publish light novels and has their own labels for their imprints. They categorized the series as a general novel label called ハヤカワ文庫JA (Hayakawa Bunko JA). Iori Miyazawa had also cleared that the series is not a light novel and did not write the series as such.
  • The series is a homage to the science fiction novel Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers. Iori Miyazawa had said in an interview that he took inspiration from the sci-fi novel, also mentioning the PC game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and how he wanted to write a modern women's version of "Stalker" in a true ghost story[6].

References

  1. Hayakawa Books Otherside Picnic TV Anime Announcement Hayakawa Books & Magazines
  2. Square Enix Manga & Books | Otherside Picnic Square Enix Manga & Books
  3. Otherside Picnic official Twitter announcement @OthersidePicnic
  4. [Distribution Started!] Otherside Tokubetsu Activity Report Otherside Picnic Official Twitter
  5. Yurindo Akiba/Otherside Picnic Special Book Fair Collaboration Yurindo Twitter Announcement
  6. 実話怪談で、現代女子版の 『ストーカー』を書きたかった。『裏世界ピクニック』宮澤伊織インタビュー完全版 Hayakawa Publishing
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.