Dreams of Fan Service – ‘ISLAND’ Episode 3 Review

Dreams of Fan Service – An Anime QandA Review for ‘Island’ Episode 3

What’s the show? ISLAND, Episode 3.

The mysterious mysteries of the ‘ISLAND’ continue? Well~ not initially, because the first half of the episode is just a loli fan-service extravaganza!

Should I leave now? I really don’t need to hear about this… Calm down, it’s not real fan-service the vast majority of it takes place in Rinne’s head as she’s drifting in and out of sleep as Setsuna, Karen and Sara are pretending to “play around” on the beach in an attempt to coax Rinne out of her self-imposed daytime reclusiveness.

This is reality.

Wait, what do you mean “not real fan service”? Just because it takes place in a character’s head and doesn’t happen canonically doesn’t mean it’s not fan service! Listen, I’ll admit it’s fan service for the viewer assuredly, but it doesn’t contain the same connotations if the characters in the show aren’t actually being subjected to objectification in the actual narrative stream.

I feel like you’re just trying to make excuses for looking at little girls in skimpy swim wear… *shrugs*

This is not reality, notice the difference?

Ehh~ let’s move on… so does it work, does Rinne leave the house? Yes, albeit dressed up in a space suit—it’s a cute joke and eventually she disrobes down to her everyday outfit and ‘enjoys’ the beach side fun, still cautious of direct sunlight under a beach umbrella—but it’s a big step for her and I’m very proud of her.

Is this a forgotten episode of Doctor Who?

Ahem. So what about the actual plot related mysteries of the episode? Well, while exploring some caves on the beach they discover a shack, it’s locked and they attempt to break in but Rinne protests—getting some flashes of the past and then she faints.

Well that’s something, anything else happen? Yes, quite a bit in fact. Though it’s mostly character related, there’s a splendid montage that moves time ahead a little showing Setsuna and the girls partaking in some summer time frivolities what with a festival and fireworks. Later, Rinne and Setsuna have a bath (separately) and Rinne sings that gorgeous song from the first episode while standing naked in the moonlight.

What a picturesque view.

Still sounds like shameless fan service to me. Shut up. There’s a lot of really great quiet and contemplative moments, like when Setsuna walks Karen home and later with Setsuna talking things over with Sara beside the vending machine. It’s kind of hard to describe how much I’m in love with just the aesthetic and ~feel~ of this show! I just adore it but I feel like a lot of people are just sweeping it away because of preconceived notions of what ought to pass for a ‘good show’.

They make a cute couple, no?

Right… By the end of the episode we learn that Karen is in way over her head when it comes to what she really wants in life, a fight with her father brings her back to Setsuna’s room at Rinne’s estate—she jumps him, straddles him on the bed and says “Mess me up” and the episode ends.


What? There’s so much to unpack here, like in what context does she mean that? There’s been hints at a romantic relationship forming but she’s got enough emotional baggage that she could mean something else entirely by it. But aside from all that the most important thing I took away from this episode was that I completely beholden to the mystery of this show—and I don’t even mean within the context of the narrative but rather the mystery of what kind of show this is going to end up being! Regardless of the genre it’s listed as I have no idea where this show is going and it feels unlike most shows I watch and this is absolutely a good thing, I like not knowing where it’s going, so here’s hoping it can keep delivering on the mystery while dolling out enough answers to keep the eternally curious among us satisfied!

Yup, it me.

Previous ISLAND Reviews:

The Island of Mysterious Loli’s – Episode 1 Review
A Loli A Day… – Episode 2 Review

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Author: Cactus Matt

I love anime and more recently manga too. What else do I need to write here?

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