REVIEW: ‘The Tale of Outcasts,’ Episode 3 — “Riverside Murder”

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The tale of outcasts Episode 3

With Snow agreeing to let Westeria leave with Marbas in the last episode, the duo now arrive at the first stop on their travels. But no sooner do they step off the train than they run into a young woman who has also made a contract with a demon. But there is more to this girl than meets the eye, as Westeria and Marbas will discover in The Tale of Outcasts Episode 3.

Episodic storytelling can be hard. When a series seems committed to having stories that fit into a 20-ish minute package, telling a well-fleshed-out story can be a challenge. Introducing new characters, establishing their situation, and building it all up enough so there is an emotional payoff for the audience can be a big ask of so short a story. And it’s an ask this week’s episode falls drastically short on as it plows through a story that certainly should’ve been split into two parts.

The Tale of Outcasts Episode 3 opens with a brief sequence that introduces a new monstrous creature that is on a scale the show has not seen before. This tease does a great job of establishing the new threat, especially through the simple but effective visual design. This moment serves as a great tease while leaving the viewer in the dark about the whys of it, along with its ultimate purpose in the story.

Jumping from here, we catch up to our stars as they arrive in a bustling town. As they acquaint themselves with their new surroundings, the duo is soon accosted by a small demon named Murray, who is seeking to pick Westeria’s pocket. Unfortunately for the demon, Marbas is on to him. But when the demon’s contractor is revealed to be a young girl named Harriet who is in dire straights of her own, Westeria is able to convince Marbas to be merciful. The four of them soon find themselves getting food at Harriet’s expense. A form of apology for her earlier actions.

From here, The Tale of Outcasts Episode 3 focuses in on the rapidly growing bond between Westeria and Harriet. As two girls who have both seen sharp improvements in their lives through the help of their unlikely companions, the two have plenty to connect over. The joy the two young girls find in someone they can each relate to is captured wonderfully. The visuals take the duo through a tour of the city, with lots of life and energy radiating throughout the sequence. But, the picturesque moment soon turns sour as the episode draws to a close.

As I mentioned earlier, this episode tries to do too much too fast. While I think the groundwork for Harriet and Murray is well constructed through the middle stretch of the episode, as the finale comes in, there is too much to throw at the viewer to allow it to land with the impact it is clearly intended to have. That’s not to say that it fails completely, just that it could’ve used a bit more time to grow before the story tried to deliver the big finale.

The Tale of Outcasts Episode 3 delivers a solid, if rushed, story. It tries its best to set up and deliver an emotional tale in the time its formatting affords it. I hope future entries are more willing to string stories like this into multiple episodes so they may be able to land with the full emotional impact they are shooting for.

The Tale of Outcasts Episode 3 is streaming on Crunchyroll.


The Tale of Outcasts Episode 3 — "Riverside Murder"
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

The Tale of Outcasts Episode 3 delivers a solid, if rushed, story. It tries its best to set up and deliver an emotional tale in the time its formatting affords it. I hope future entries are more willing to string stories like this into multiple episodes so they may be able to land with the full emotional impact they are shooting for.

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