Hello there. This is review number twenty three of my goal to reach a thousand. I’m already hurting from watching too many anime. This is another anime from the Spring 2012 line up. It’s Upotte!! Its only ten episodes long so I hope you’re ready to enjoy middle school girls shoot each other like its New Years. Yeah, the anime has a lot of guns in it. I’m not particularly a fan of military anime but hold up, this anime is actually a School anime. So it’s about guns in School. No, if only it’s that simple.
Let’s read on.
The story is about the girls in Seishou Academy. A school where the girls train with guns and the girls ARE guns. FNC and her group of friends live their school life pretty normally but a new homeroom teacher would soon realize how different this Academy is from the placed the previously worked in. A lot of cute girls and a lot of deadly guns, this homeroom teacher needs to be a lot tougher than this Academy. He’ll have to rewrite the operator’s manual on student/teacher relationships, and pray that his job description won’t include having to field strip and reassemble one of his students in the dark.
Taking the Pants Off
When I first saw this anime in the lineup, I had a worry in my face. The anime, judging the cover, is about girls with guns. How can they really make a story out of that? I had pretty low expectations when I picked up the anime so I was pleasantly surprised at how good the anime. Upotte is about a school where they teach girls to handle guns. The girl themselves are actually guns. At first I thought it was just a symbolism or something but they literally are guns. They are the same as the guns they fire and I was a little confused at first but that is exactly the same as the characters in Hetalia. Hetalia is about countries taking human form possessing stereotypes and common attitudes of people living in their country. The same concept is in Upotte. The girls are guns and they acquire some of the characteristics of the guns they take after. The characters share the same advantages and disadvantages as their guns. This concept actually helps in developing the character and making them more likeable.
You don’t need to be a gun nut to enjoy Upotte. There is no need to ask your metal gear obsessed friend about the guns. There is a convenient narrator that tells tidbits and facts about the guns in certain situations. The explanation is precise as it enhances the plot and gives us knowledge about the guns. Hetalia is an anime about hot guys supposedly downplaying the horrors of war and focusing on some bishie goodness. Well, Upotte actually made guns moe. Can you believe that? Who would’ve thought guns can be cute?
The anime is mostly of the School genre. There are four friends who spend time together, fool around with each other and support each other. There are some generic School episodes like the cultural festival, a snow episode and a beach episode. Most of the episodes also involve some normal chats between the characters. The beauty of Upotte is that it’s also action packed. Some episodes have full on gun action. The fights have storytelling in them. The girls would often use military tactics to win the fights and some impressive plot twists that ultimately wins it. I find these fights as the best parts of the anime. There is a nice balance between the School and the Action genre. It’s really amazing considering the anime only have ten episodes. There is also no blood in the anime. The girls would get hit by bullets in the head and the torso but since they are guns, they do not bleed. I love that little element. Without the blood, the anime isn’t horrifying. Without the danger of dying, the fights feel pretty unique. You can enjoy the fights to its fullest.
There are some humans in the anime. Just like in Hetalia, the characters interact with humans. The same goes in this anime. Some humans are present but majority of the cast is guns. Most of the humans are just background characters and there is actually only one human as part of the main cast. The characters are really memorable. Since they resemble the guns they fire, it’s easy to distinguish them and that actually makes each character unique. Some characters share some features with some countries that utilizes the guns. Sixteen is an American gun so she shares some American features like blond hair. AK is a Russian gun so she has some Russian features. The rest of the character follows that pattern but the narrator explains those details pretty nicely. I think that without the gun personality, the characters generic-ness is more recognizable. So it’s really amazing how the characters are so strong despite its School genre element. The School genre is one of the most used genres in anime so it gets stale when it’s still being used so strongly. You need to mix in some special bonuses. In K-on, they made near perfect animation sequences and Music as a sub-genre. In Upotte, it’s all about guns and guns and more guns.
There is also a small Romance in the anime between FNC and the human teacher. It wasn’t heavily focused but it is worth noting. There is also a hand of Yuri in it. Aug has a crush on FNC. Sig has a crush on FNC. There was even a girl on girl lip smacking action. The more prominent element though is its fan service. There are a lot of nude scenes even though the good parts are hidden. There are some panty shots here and there. The best is the double meaning the anime does. I have an over active imagination so it was laughing pretty hard when some dialogues are double meaning.
Hey guys, have you ever thought about the person who is going to end up holding you?
My hammer….My hammer is going to fire.
The anime ended pretty openly but the final episode was really great that it doesn’t matter how the anime ends. I am pretty disappointed the anime is only ten episodes long. When I find myself enjoying the episodes, the anime was already half way through. Still though, you want to see cute girls fire guns then Upotte won’t disappoint.
Sight and Sound
The animation is pretty normal though I do love the character design. They have pretty wide faces that are different from your average moe anime. The guns are also nicely detailed. Some scenes have CG in them and most of the empty bullet cases flying of the gun are done in CG. The movement is pretty smooth and the gun placement is accurate. The way the girls move during fights are also pretty accurate.
The opening song is pretty great. “I.N.G.” by sweet ARMS fits the anime pretty nicely. It is upbeat just like the rest of the anime. The ending is also nicely done. It’s slower than the opening but I find myself closing my eyes as the ending song plays.
5/10 “It’s pretty original anime that is enjoyable despite being only ten episodes.”
Upotte is great. If you are a fan of moe then this anime will appeal to you. If you’re a fan of guns then you’ll like this anime. If you like some slow paced school anime then this anime has them too. It appeals to a wide audience so you can guarantee it’ll be great.