As I highlighted in my season preview post, I chose Upotte as my throwaway fanservice show that I secretly like enough to blog for the season. So sit back for the next 3 months and not even bother to acknowledge self-aware moé anime at it’s most self-aware. You could go as far as calling this Akikan with a budget, but that’s seems unfair based on this first episode. That’s because there’s nothing more American than European made guns depicted as girls in a Japanese high school. Wait, what?
A lot of this episode gets bogged down on skeleton stocks on the cast, which result in damage to the male lead in this series. He just happens to be a generic Insert-sensei so I don’t think it matters too much that I can’t remember who he is 5 minutes after watching the episode. The whole gag with the stock is that skeleton stocks on the gun mean the girl wears thong underwear. It gets rather tired after the first time it comes up.
What this episode succeeded at in my opinion is in just how self-aware it was. When the main girls in the series were making a video it became fairly obvious characterization wasn’t being taken seriously. The main character in this episode, FNC, was introducing herself in a swimsuit and was upset that the background didn’t portray something like waffles or chocolate that Belgium is famous for. The Swiss SG550 engages in carpet bomb related word play. The American M16A4 inexplicably talks in Osaka-ben and is incapable of doing anything for a long duration of time. L85A1 from the UK (with the Loch Ness Monster in the background) is introduced with the sole feature of having gigantic breasts to the disappointment of all 4.
As far as what I got out of this episode I got a few laughs, at least making up for the 0 I got from Polar Bear Cafe. But this is high concept anime after all. High concept to the point where I can simply say it’s about guns as high school girls. There are a bunch of visual gags like the British gun having a weak spring leading to strange first aid that are going to be one of the features of this show. I guess trying to find what to pick out will be a bit of a challenge going forward, but damn it if I don’t try.
If you are looking for non-threatening light humor fanservice of the most obvious kind, this is right up your alley. For those looking for something intellectual, at least the mid-episode ad breaks provide statistics on each of the guns. Otherwise, you may as well look elsewhere this season for something beyond physical humor and puns for laughter.
Next week looks like a competitive episode where the girls try to defeat each other obviously using the guns they are based off of. I just wonder if there’s any possibility of threat in this show at all. The best guns should always win since there’s no human there to fail in operating them. I’m also rather curious about the girls thinking they can be fired by Insert-sensei. Just how many more weeks can I do this and try to find something interesting?