Tue 10 Apr 2012
Against my better judgement, I was kinda looking forward to Upotte!! this season. I’m a big fan of stupid moe-anthropomorphism premises, and as a mild firearm enthusiast this naturally piqued my interest. The pilot episode of Upotte!! is a slew of mediocrity and plain character designs. While it didn’t come off as totally bad (unlike the usual Xebec show) it sure didn’t come off as good. Still, there is a non-zero chance Upotte!! will be entertaining somewhere down the line, so I’ll keep on watching.
The first thing I noticed about Upotte!! is how boring it looks. It has that washed out, faded color look reminiscent of some other Xebec anime like Kyou no Go no Ni (2008) with the plain character design to match. For an anime about girls being assault rifles, I expect at least some decent character design. Don’t be delusional — people will watch Upotte!! for the same reason they watched Strike Witches, so instead of any semblence of plot, this anime should instead rely on its characters for entertainment value, right? Well, I think the show attempts to familiarize us with its characters, but the look so plain and unattractive it’s hard to really pay attention. The FNC being the main protagonist came off as an odd choice to me. When you think “assault rife”, the first thing that comes to mind is the AK-47 or the M16. The FNC is hardly even used outside of Belgium, and when was the last time you’ve heard of Belgium going to war? Additionally, I can only conclude that the male lead is a complete doofus. How did he land a job at the institution if he doesn’t even know the girls are guns? Don’t you think “students include personified assault rifles” would be somewhere in the job description? The only personality I can extract from his character is “pervert”, and maybe “awkward”.
Finally, there’s the stupid parts where FNC basically orgasms when she thinks about her sensei “shooting” her. That pun died somewhere near the beginning of the episode, so I hope the show has plenty more of these quality puns for the rest of the show. I’m pretty decent with an SKS, but I’m pretty sure that when I shoot it I don’t make it climax.
Even with all that, I wouldn’t call this show hopeless. Maybe it’s the one or two marksmanship jokes that I found mildly entertaining, or the amusingly vain attempts at character development, but I think I can watch this for at least a few more episodes. I never thought this day would come, but I have found an anime where I’m more interested in the guns than the girls.