Upotte!! 10 – Becoming More Human

This is the one moment of comedy in this episode.

The final episode of Upotte finishes with message that says more about people than the weapons themselves. The battle in the city commences as the enemy led by AK74 tries to defeat the four girls. Even with SAKO joining the fight, it appears to be a tough battle. It ultimately leads to a final confrontation between AK74 and FNC, which ends without a decisive winner.

FNC blindly fires around a corner.

The final episode was another serious episode following on from last week. That meant that most of this episode was action-filled with an emphasis on urban close-combat, which I felt was very well executed.

A nice trap that relies on L85’s weakness begins with her standing out in the open.

Much had been made of L85’s tendency to fail frequently. That happened again in this episode, but rather than play it for laughs it became a moment of positive improvisation. FNC narrowly rescued her, but she then had the idea to distract their opponent before luring them into a trap thinking that she did not have a working magazine. Also, M16 and SAKO getting trapped on the stairs by Saiga felt realistic as well in the urban setting. They didn’t have the firepower to get out of there.

SG550 just fell for the trap.

On the downside was the subplot to take out SG550. It made the ridiculous affection she had for FNC a part of the battle. So she ended up lured into a freezer where they simply trapped her. It seemed like a perfectly good trap to actually finish her off, but they just left her there closely guarded. It was also surprising that she froze up, but without knowing how cold it was in there, I can’t say it was an inaccurate portrayal of what would happen to that gun in cold conditions.

Oh wait, there was a temperature related gag in this episode.

Of course, the main story in this episode was the fight between AK74 and FNC where Insert-sensei, well inserts himself into the battle. The distinct appearance of the AK variants from the rest of the cast came to make sense here. The AK variants look like they do because they are mean to be less human. They are tools that represent an animal-like desire for survival by killing others. AK74 was trying to bring out this same feeling in FNC at the end. Doing everything from trying to kill her friends to shooting Insert-sensei to try to get FNC to escalate the battle between the schools, it very nearly worked.

You really wouldn’t like FNC when she’s angry.

However, to insure that Insert-sensei could have his role justified, humans can’t be killed by bullets unless they are fired by another person. That allows him to lecture AK74 in this episode’s attempt at social commentary. That is the question of whether those that create weapons that kill people have the right to tell people to stop fighting. Insert-sensei thinks that they do. I think that bringing this up really misses the point. Is a high-concept comedy about anthropomorphized guns really the best place to question the military-industrial complex? Given the fact that it happens in front of a group of catgirls in middle school uniforms and after weeks of jokes about underwear matching gun stocks and the like, I think that Upotte wasn’t even close to having the right to attempt this sort of social commentary.

The precise moment this episode becomes about death.

As for the end of the episode, it wraps up the series pretty well in my opinion, though not in the way it intended. As Insert-sensei tells his class that they have to prepare for entrance exams for high school, FNC informs him that they don’t do that. Yes, they end up stuck in the same class forever. The whole school setting was entirely pointless by the show’s own admission. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that animating this series was pointless because the action in this episode probably justified it as an action series. Unfortunately, this was supposed to be a comedy series with occasional action. In the end, it simply wasn’t funny enough to work in my opinion.

4 thoughts on “Upotte!! 10 – Becoming More Human”

  1. Actually that was AK-74. We don’t even know what 47 looks like yet, as every scene so far in the manga has shown her shrouded in shadow. Given her vintage though (created less than 4 years after WW-II), her personification is either as old as Fujiko-sensei, or G3. And while she DID order the attack on Atami, it was mostly 74 just overdoing it.

    1. Incidentally, the episodes that we’ve watched are apparently counted as OADs, and the series will only start airing on TV… this month.

      1. Japanese TV is weird like that where a lot of shows don’t air nationally. I think the 10 episode format allows it to more easily fit in as a show to fill gaps in late night programming over the summer.

    2. I was only going off of the AK name, and between the guess of 47 or 74 I went with the more famous option. Considering I’ve been at this 3 and a half years now, I think it’s amazing that this has only happened twice.

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