What They Say:
The Japanese teacher is learning more about his students, and on a trip to the high school he gets to meet their older sisters. Funco, Eru, and Sigu lead a group of elementary guns on a volunteer cleaning trip
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the wide variety of the season, there is certainly a place for something as unusual as Upotte!! out there. With the first two episodes, it’s definitely been quirky with what it wants to do and be but it’s also felt like it didn’t know how to execute the concept, especially in the first episode. That problem of execution has been one that has made this the only show I feel like I might drop this season, but I’m quite curious to see where they’ll go with it. And it doesn’t hurt that the show is just ten episodes either. The lack of a character to really feel drawn to and like has been the hard part, though as is common, watching the things that Funco has to go through is kind of the main draw.
As the show goes on, one of the things that helps to smooth things out a bit is the recently arrived teacher who is struggling with this whole concept alongside the audience. He’s managed to at least befriend Funco and that means a slow but steady path to accepting what they all are in being weapons. His knowing her a bit better also allows him to have more conversations with the other girls, including some of the older ones on campus that he spends a little time with. It’s kind of a strange situation in having them explain the meanings of their names based on the technical aspects of it all and to have him just sort of accept it along the way.
While we’ve focused on FUnco and her group as well as some of the older students there, this episode spends its second half on some of the elementary school age kids as well. With Funco and friends coming to work with them on a clean up exercise, it’s kind of surreal to find out that all these little kids are essentially submachine guns. It sort of makes sense in a lot of ways, though you might think they’re pistols at first, but with how they can just keep going and going… well, it does work. This group of kids can get pretty overwhelming for Funco and the others and even they know it’s happening themselves sometimes. The little kids quirks are kind of amusing since they can fire off hundreds and hundreds of rounds but are then empty afterwards. Some of the episode just focuses too much on the gun side, but that’s the real appeal here.
And that’s what gets me in the end. Upotte is focused on two different genres and is combining them in an interesting way, but they’re mostly alienating one in favor of the other. Schoolgirl show fans will find some things to like about it, but the main focus here is on the gun fetishits and what they can get out of it by humanizing their favorite weapons and giving them something new to drool over. It works from that direction pretty well and I can see that niche being very well served by this series. It works for me in some occasions, but when the show goes into the whole gun history lesson towards the end here, it loses me completely. And another part of this that lets it work in its home territory is that gun violence is so much lower than where I am that it can be awkward in some ways to watch this show. It’s something where you definitely have to separate the real world with this and realize that it truly has no impact. But man, Upotte is pure fetish material when you get down to it. Just the closing sequence alone reminds me heavily every week now.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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