The 8th episode of Upotte!! centers around the preparations for the cultural festival. As can be expected by this series by now, there is plenty of destruction involved as the students prepare for the event. The other teachers’ rather lax attitude toward preparation troubles the Token-sensei at the center of this episode. Eventually, he pulls everyone together to accomplish what he needed to do to get the maid cafe his class was planning up and running.
I believe the primary objective of this episode was to build on last week’s character development of Token-sensei and really make him seem like the responsible party out of anyone in this series. It’s a terribly weak idea given that this show is supposed to be about girls as guns to focus on a character who is neither a girl or a gun, but onward they persist. They accomplish this by basically making every other character into a reckless maniac. That’s not a problem for the students, but for the teachers it’s another matter entirely.
Let’s start with the irresponsibility of everyone bar Token-sensei. It begins quite quickly with Thompson-sensei interrupting M14 trying to get a tank through the festival arch by telling her to wait until the end to destroy it. So she drives it through an adjacent wall instead. M16 then comes close to using the class funds to purchase accessories for the group. Then there was the matter of Galil destroying walls in order to create a desert environment fit for the camels brought in from Israel. Garland put himself in great danger for the sake of entertaining the students. Then the other teachers casually talked about how there were surprisingly few casualties in the preparations. Before finally, M16 and M14 got into the fight that set up the conclusion to the episode by destroying the cafe.
In contrast to this, Token-sensei had his dream of the students as maids following his strict orders. However, his role was largely preventing everyone else from doing something dangerous. So he stops M14 in the beginning with the tank and M16 from spending the money. He breaks up the fashion show for the cafe as it was getting out of hand as well.
There are also moments where he is made to feel like he belongs at the school. The prank with the imaging equipment, as well as his shot at stabbing Garland were supposed to show that the other characters were friendly with him. However, it ultimately culminates in his having complete command of the class as they rebuild the maid cafe at the end of the episode, brand new uniforms and all. They obediently obey his orders just as he imagined at the beginning of the episode, but it never really felt like he had earned it. With the history of the girls disobeying him or FNC shooting him repeatedly in the past, it just didn’t seem to make sense that now of all moments they would want to follow him. Then again, perhaps I’m taking this series too seriously.
As for the rest of the episode, there were a couple of gags I did enjoy. The first had to do with the introduction of numerous men helping with the construction who happened to look the exact same. As Token-sensei found out, they also all happened to be named Kouhei. Then there was the bit on rations. Having talked to a couple of people with experience in this area, the conversation was almost the exact same. There are rations that used to taste terrible, but now taste pretty good and almost to the level you could eat them as normal food. At the same time, there are some that still taste absolutely terrible. I just thought it was funny how universal the ration conversation could be.
Next week finally sees the token beach episode. I can’t imagine how that had not contrived to make it to a beach episode yet. Unfortunately, it looks like they are also going to try to mix some plot in as well with some locals visiting the girls at the beach. I just hope this doesn’t end up like a miniature version of the Sako arc again. I should also point out that the time covered between the end of episode 7 and the episode next week is probably around 8 months. Pacing is optional it seems.